It did not surprise me when last week senior officials at the Ministry of Education, in teachers’ and parents’ organisations, as well as the best entertainers we have learnt to accept because they are plentiful, colorful and cheap-man on the street—were chiming away on an issue I had no idea existed, far less worthy of comment. But the controversy that erupted when Trinity College at Moka Invoked their rule on specific hairstyles students, graduating students especially, were not allowed to sport at the graduation ceremony, was the proverbial— storm in a calabash. Lawyers, other professionals, anyone connected with education or, inevitably, politics blew the issue wholly out of proportion. Continue reading Splitting Hairs→
The African continent has been under European siege for 600 years. The current form of white men telling Africans to shut up and do as they are told are called “sanctions”. Listen to Rutendo Matinyarare explaining the origins and effects of the illegal US and European sanctions on his home country, Zimbabwe. Rutendo is a leader of the Zimbabwe Anti Sanction Movement (ZASM) and an expert on the country’s foreign policy. Continue reading Zimbabwe And Other African Nations Are Fighting Back. Stop Illegal Sanctions→
The violent, brutal beating/murder of the 29-year-old black man Tyre Nichols on January 7, 2023 by five black Memphis police officers immediately pushes to the fore the inherent, insecure and dangerous existence of black life in America today.
Two weeks ago I cautioned the People’s National Movement about the Prime Minister’s desire to foist Stuart Young upon the party as its next political leader. I also asked party leaders to recognise how important black people are to the sustenance of the party.
In his response, Minister Young accused the editor of the Express and me of being racist for publishing my observation. He commented: “The Express editor has taken a conscious decision to use racism as the foundation for an attack against me and I reject this… It is important at moments like this when media and others attempt to attack persons based on race, and a promotion of racism, that we, the citizens, reject them and their messaging, and I do so.” (Express, December 19.) Continue reading Pride in our origins→
It pains me whenever I feel it necessary to confront the race issue in my column. I see it as a waste of valuable column centimetres where those of us who have been selected by the managers and editors of newspapers to highlight and comment on matters of national importance instead find ourselves discussing drivel.
But there comes a time when columnists cannot ignore attempts by influential people in the society resorting to race, playing the race card when everything else fails them, in the hope that controversy might save them from oblivion, a fate politicians fear more than they do the hell-fire that is promised to believers and non-believers alike for the sinful lives they lead, convinced they are so clever, they can fool even the Creator. Continue reading Finding African farmers→
Nothing defined the great dividing line in this country the way the Law Association lawyers’ motion to have Attorney General Reginald Armour resign from office did when it came before the legal fraternity two weeks ago.
As people with an iota of common sense will have noted, while there was an element of race in the proceedings, it was not the only, or even the main factor that drove the campaign to oust the AG. It was all political—a straight case of who in the profession supported the incumbent PNM Government, or who supported the Opposition UNC. The stench of politics in what can be said to have been a minor confrontation was overpowering. Continue reading Circling like corbeaux→
Years 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. Continue reading Getting world history right: real African history→
The controversy started when Camille Robinson-Regis called Kamla Persad-Bissessar out of her name. Kamla responded by casting aspersions on Camille’s “slave name”, which played right into a deep cultural fissure that exists within our fragile social structure. Whatever the merits of either argument, as my mother would have said, “Is de answer does bring the row.” Hopefully, in this case, the answers should allow us to see our cultural blindness. Continue reading What’s in a slave name?→
Indians were recruited by ” arkatias” and transported to work on the cane-fields of Caroni in Trinidad because after a period of keen observation and analysis by the occupying British and based on their experience in sugar cultivation in India (UP and Bihar) and taking into account the extreme famine of the 1850’s it was decided that perhaps with the advice of the established East India Company, Indians were going to be the most effective and economic type of unskilled labour to increase sugar production and achieve increasing efficiencies.
Akan people of Ghana, from which my lineage springs, have a naming ceremony eight or ten days after a child is born. It is called the Outdoor Ceremony, where the child is brought into the outdoors to see the light of day.
During that ceremony, the child is given a name that confers a specific identity upon him or her. Not a tear is shed if that child dies before the naming ceremony. It is as if that entity never existed, so precious is a person’s name in that society. Continue reading Doh mess with ma name→