Category Archives: Race and Identity

A Luta Continua

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 29, 2021

“Nations seldom listen to advice from individuals, however reasonable. They are taught less by theories than by facts and events.”

Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast week I commended President Joseph Biden for signing into law a bill that made June 19 a national holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. It took two and a half years (that is, on June 19, 1865) to notify enslaved African Americans that “all slaves are free” and the 13th Amendment to free them officially on December 6, 1865.
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Getting world history right: real African history

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
June 14, 2021

Dr. Kwame NantambuYears after the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2011 as “The International Year for People of African Descent”, it must be realized that the European enslavement of African people or the “MAAFA” (“great disaster”) only represents .01 per cent of the history of African people on this planet. Put another way, for the 99.9 per cent of their history, Africans were a free people.

Furthermore, “there were a thousand years of independent state formation and state management in inner West Africa called the western Sudan before the (European) slave trade.”
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Germany recognises colonial ‘genocide’ in Namibia

Germany calls atrocities ‘genocide’ but omits the words ‘reparations’ or ‘compensation’ from a joint statement

By Philip Oltermann, in Berlin
May 28, 2021 – theguardian.com

The Forgotten Genocide: Herero and Nama, 1904Germany has to agreed to pay Namibia €1.1bn (£940m) as it officially recognised the Herero-Nama genocide at the start of the 20th century, in what Angela Merkel’s government says amounts to a gesture of reconciliation but not legally binding reparations.

Tens of thousands of men, women and children were shot, tortured or driven into the Kalahari desert to starve by German troops between 1904 and 1908 after the Herero and Nama tribes rebelled against colonial rule in what was then named German South West Africa and is now Namibia.
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Bernard Yawching defends book accusing UNC, Hindus of racist agenda

By Julien Neaves
March 17, 2021 – newsday.co.tt

Bernard YawchingPOLITICAL and social activist Bernard Yawching said he expects backlash over his book The Hidden Agenda of Race Relations in Trinidad and Tobago.

The new book accuses the United National Congress (UNC), the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), and some members of the Hindu community and the East Indian community of promoting a racist agenda. It tracks events from a 1913 speech by former Arima Mayor FEM Hosein about Africans not being as productive as Indians to more modern-day controversies such as Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar describing the Prime Minister as an “oreo.”
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Black People & the Social Contract

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 01, 2021

“No society can smash the social contract and be exempt from the consequences, and the consequences are chaos for everybody in the society.”

—James Baldwin, Conversations

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThere are two troubling aspects of slavery and colonialism that remain within our consciousness even though we claim that slavery and colonialism are conditions of the past. The first is the self-hate that these socio-economic formations have created in Black people and a resulting tendency to do everything to prevent fellow Blacks from moving forward. Frantz Fanon discussed this condition in Black Skin, White Masks.
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A Black Race Position

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 19, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeLast Thursday, in his response to a letter written by 23 Afro-Trinbagonians about the placement of Black students in our secondary schools, Kamal Persad, coordinator of the Indian Review Committee, responded: “It is clear the under-performance of Afro-children in the education system is still at the top of the black agenda. Accordingly, these 23 persons of African descent adopted an unmistakable black race position” (Express, January 14).
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The Potency of the Word

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
December 15, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe savage murder of Ashanti Riley touched many of us. It led us to reflect upon the kind of society we have created and the citizens (social beings) we are cultivating. Ashanti’s murder led the prime minister to talk about “the monsters” we are cultivating within our midst. Phyllis Bruce, another mother whose Black son vanished on March 19, sympathized with Ashanti’s mother in her grief: “Even from one mother to another, I can’t find the words to comfort her. But I would say to her, be strong. Hold on. Keep courage” (Express, December 11).
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Embracing all our history

By Dr Selwyn Cudjoe
August 31, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIt is gratifying that we are looking anew at many of the institutional arrangements and practices that we have accepted blithely over the years.

Recent articles by Reginald Dumas and Marina Salandy-Brown, the SEA discussion by The UWI scholars, and Theodore Lewis’s brilliant article on the subject have been instructive. Today’s discussion, “A Time for Healing”, sponsored by The UWI Faculty of Law in collaboration with the Catholic Commission on Social Justice, promises to be an exciting affair.
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The Lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 11, 2020

PART 1

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI was stunned but not surprised by Roodal Moonilal’s letter to Joseph Mondello, US Ambassador to T&T, asking the US government to act against the best interest of our homeland. His lame excuse, a mea culpa perhaps, was: “If the United States imposes no sanctions against Trinidad and Tobago it will be because of the action of the United National Congress” (Express, May 5). As Mondello asserted, the US does not need Moonilal to tell it where its interests lies.
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