Self-Identity: The Key to Mental Emancipation

By Ayinde
August 02, 2016

Emancipation“The stories of our past should not condemn us to the turmoil of acrimony; but rather they should show us a path for achieving the positive and prosperous development of our country now and for the generations to come. . . . We are currently writing new pages in our history. . . . We need to ask ourselves, are we facilitating new prejudices and divisions in our society? Are we perpetuating a mindset of entitlement – claiming rights where instead we should accept personal responsibility? . . . Are we committed to working together in the best interest of our country? Can we look past the ‘me’ and ‘my group’ to the bigger picture of nationhood?”

The aforementioned comments made by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley in commemoration of Emancipation Day were extracted from an article titled “PM: Less self, more nationhood“, published in In it lies our problem as a people and as a nation.

Trinidad and Tobago’s leaders have thus far failed to allow for ongoing public discourses on African issues, especially through our state media. In fact, such efforts were/are discouraged with the misguided notion that these interactions are divisive. Token discussions around Emancipation Day serve a kind of carnival value, with little, if any, conscious development. As a result, the examination of what constitutes ‘I’ or ‘me’ in the African psyche is generally lacking; the limited attention around Emancipation Day is not sufficient to effect change for the better.

During Slavery, Africans were systematically stripped of valuable aspects of cultural traditions and family development that are crucial for developing a strong sense of identity. Africans were conditioned to view the interests of the slave masters as their own. The lack of critical examination of history to correct these false identifications perpetuates the destruction of integrity and loyalty of Africans to each other based on shared experiences.

Too many Africans still work for the economic and social betterment of others at the expense of their own self-interest due to the spectre of false self-identification. Calling on Africans to look at the big picture of nation building and to focus on the collective well-being of all people without first addressing their issues as a group only furthers the interest of others at the expense of Africans.

This dilemma of false self-identification is the reason many Africans see little value in themselves and are not drawing from their own creativity. Too many Africans remain dependent on the crumbs of others. This is mental slavery.

11 thoughts on “Self-Identity: The Key to Mental Emancipation”

  1. Such a contrasting speech as what was delivered here..

    Rowley said: “We should not be ignorant of the instances of the uprising of slaves. This is where Emancipation began. Many of them defied their enslavement. Then came the argument the profit was not as good. There were those saying it was wrong to enslave them. They were put off the estates. They had nowhere to go. Nothing but the clothing. Some of them had a trade, and, maybe a tool. We survived that. Then we went on to become a success.”

    Rowley also revisited the nefarious system of Trans Atlantic slavery in which slaves were considered “chattel” or “property”.

    Maybe you need to get the official release from the PM’s office.

  2. The Prime Minister’s Message to the Nation on the occasion of Emancipation Day. (pdf)

    Full Press Release from the Office of the Prime Minister

    The pageantry with which we celebrate Emancipation day today underscores the jubilation, triumph and euphoria of a people freed…freed from the worst manifestation of state enforced inhumanity – chattel slavery – a system which legally allowed persons to be bought, sold, bartered and even murdered with impunity.

    But freedom would bring its own challenges. The formerly enslaved Africans, individually and collectively, would now have to take responsibility for the direction of their own lives. Amid prejudice and ingrained philosophical beliefs of one group’s inherent right to dominate and denigrate another, they created opportunities for their own advancement.

    Emancipation closed the door on a dark period of our country’s history, not to be forgotten, but from which we may learn and chart our future. It shattered an unjust status quo. Emancipation brought a new dynamic to colonial society fuelling upheavals and changes which would later take us along the path to Independence.

    As Afro-trinbagonians, at Emancipation we reflect on our history and proudly claim our ancestry. We celebrate freedom and recognize the immense sacrifices made by our ancestors and we are justifiable proud of our accomplishments as their descendants.

    And while Emancipation Day may be a more intense emotional experience for persons of African descent, we must remember that emancipation irrevocably changed the political, economic, and social reality not only for those who were freed but also for the population as a whole and all those who would follow.

    Today Trinidad and Tobago benefits from the contributions of all our citizens, regardless of race, and it is unfortunate that some among us still seek to create chasms within the population.

    Instead, in examining our history, should come the realization that struggle, oppression, discrimination and violence were endured in varying degrees by many of our ancestors and yet through sheer determination, the will to succeed and the power of an unconquerable spirit; they surmounted what was intended to crush them.

    The stories of our past should not condemn us to the turmoil of acrimony; but rather they should show us a path for achieving the positive and prosperous development of our country now and for the generations to come.

    We are currently writing new pages in our history. We need to ask ourselves, are we facilitating new prejudices and divisions in our society? Are we perpetuating a mindset of entitlement – claiming rights where instead we should accept personal responsibility? Are we committed to working together in the best interest of our country? Can we look past the “me” and “my group” to the bigger picture of nationhood?

    Emancipation Day, along with our other national days of recognition, are welcome avenues for personal celebrations but I believe they are asking us to do something more. They invite us to better understand ourselves and each other, seeking commonalities while accepting differences.

    We have suffered pain, grief and intolerance. We need another narrative, one driven towards collective respect, appreciation and unity of purpose.

    In the spirit of Emancipation Day, we look with renewed hope to our potential as a people and a Nation.

    On behalf of the Government, I extend to each and every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago best wishes for a thoughtful, reflective and happy Emancipation Day.

  3. These people are free from mental slavery.

    Read this beautiful Information about Japan

    1 – Did you know that Japanese children clean their schools every day for a quarter of an hour with teachers, which led to the emergence of a Japanese generation who is modest and keen on cleanliness.

    2 – Did you know that any Japanese citizen who has a dog must carry bag and special bags to pick up dog droppings. Hygiene and their eagerness to address cleanliness is part of Japanese ethics.

    3 – Did you know that hygiene worker in Japan is called “health engineer” and can command salary of USD 5000 to 8000 per month, and a cleaner is subjected to written and oral tests!!

    4 – Did you know that Japan does not have any natural resources, and they are exposed to hundreds of earthquakes a year but do not prevent her from becoming the second largest economy in the world? –

    5 – Did you know that Hiroshima returned to what it was economically vibrant before the fall of the atomic bomb in just ten years?

    6 – Did you know that Japan prevents the use of mobile in trains, restaurants and indoor

    7 – Did you know that in Japan students from the first to sixth primary year must learn ethics in dealing with people –

    8 – Did you know that the Japanese even though one of the richest people in the world but they do not have servants. The parents are responsible for the house and children –

    9 – Did you know that there is no examination from the first to the third primary level; because the goal of education is to instill concepts and character building, not just examination and indoctrination. –

    10 – Did you know that if you go to a buffet restaurant in Japan you will notice people only eat as much as they need without any waste. No wasteful food.

    11 – Did you know that the rate of delayed trains in Japan is about 7 seconds per year!! They appreciate the value of time, very punctual to minutes and seconds

    12 -. Did you know that children in schools brush their teeth (sterile) and clean their teeth after a meal at school; They maintain their health from an early age –

    13 – Did you know that students take half an hour to finish their meals to ensure right digestion When asked about this concern, they said: These students are the future of Japan.

  4. Yeah Mamboo, and we also know that Japan is a monolithic,insular society, where the majority of the folks are of the Buddhist faith. Unlike we T&T idiots, they don’t have a law , where one lawless , backward, un-civilize half of their population ,is free to disregard national laws, since they choose to hide behind some opaque religion.
    Translation:- you social miscreants,can marry and have sex with 9, 10 , 11,12, 13 to 17 year olds, as if it’s no one’s business, then claim to care about kids.
    They don’t break de law with impunity, then when law enforcement blokes come at them, cry racial persecution. They do not have a particular segment of their population, who only support policies, which advance the causes of their tribe.
    Instead ,they subscribe to a nationalistic, neo patriotic one people , one destiny. Put differently, The government of the day won’t spend millions ,ordering border patrol ships, to keep dangerous drugs, deadly weapons ,and illegal immigrants , from out of the country, only to be succeeded by a new regime, who would then scrap same , since they did not initially think it up, and finally 5 years hence , start moaning like constipated Tom Cats , about runaway murders, drugs, illegals ,or other forms of criminality.
    Unlike them , we are the idiots who would create a Caribbean Court of Justice ,as our final court of appeal, have it head quartered in our country, pay the highest upkeep bill, yet refuse- for typical stupid , tribal reasons – to join it,thus having old White bozos , interpret our laws , while calling ourselves independent.
    Need I go on Mamboo, you self loathing , unpatriotic comedian? Give it a rest, and if you and kind, wish to make Japan your home, then do so pronto – if you naively think ,they, as well as dem resource starved Chinese , want black folks like,’you alze ,’in their country, simply because you refer to yourselves as Asians.
    The more pertinent question that one need to ask is -with citizens like you folks , who de hell needs enemies?
    We wish our collective people well, in the face of these and similar monstrosity , si?

    1. “Translation:- you social miscreants,can marry and have sex with 9, 10 , 11,12, 13 to 17 year olds, as if it’s no one’s business, then claim to care about kids.” Neal

      As you know Nealos I deal in facts and so take a look at who like child brides in a global scale, then ask why are there so much teen pregnancies in the schools. And who is perpetrating such injustice on the girls before you continue down the road to perdition.

  5. You Indian savages ,aren’t much better because you – unlike Afro Trini blokes- choose to marry them off , once you realize they are having sex , before they know how to spell condoms , Mamboo.
    As I told you before , I do do not care about what uncivilized Africans,choose to accept as wholesome practices, and neither should you ,about your equally primitive ancestral Indian cousins. Put differently, we have no control as to what people of another country choose to do.
    My focus begins with T&T,and so should yours. Once a substantial dent is made here to elevate our actions to 21st century standards, we can then shift our focus to the wider Caribbean, then hopefully the world at large. Capiche ?
    The law is quite clear on how our law enforcement community, should address Statutory rapes across out T&T- irrespective to who are the culprits- Hindu Priest, Imams, Midwives, Doctors,Poor parents, or sex fiends looking to prey on the desperate innocent.
    When you and kind, are truly concern about the plight of all children , we can seriously engage. Until then, stay in your lane, and finger point.
    When Basdeo Panday, Kamla, and Sat Maraj ,allow their Grand Kids ,to marry under the age of 17, then go on to produce babies , and thus ,are deprived of a rightful school education , we can talk about neo elite , social exploitation.
    Until then , you and the tribe, are only blowing hot gas into de air.
    Fortunately for our society, the morally repugnant Kamla – with de help of that Tobago East ,political joker Vanilla -could not deprive PM Rowley, of his Prime Ministerial position,because 4 decades ago , as a ‘oats sowing -19 year old trusted teacher,’ he impregnated one of his students.
    You and I , as well as Civic minded leaders , can press him to put some of his governmental resources on the table , to rectify the Sociological problem-since all the illegitimate kids that suffered such a fate by callous, and often desperate parents, aren’t fortunate to ship mom, and kids off the Canada, or similar 1st world fiefdoms , like de family of his then Baby Mama did.
    We wish all kids well- including Dr Goopiesing fat , ugly cutlass wielding, illegitimate ,criminal son, who was saved from jail time, because of papas political influence over Ag Commissioner of Police Williams , and the DPP.

    Stay vigilant T&T!

  6. A document titled, Integrated Strategic Framework For The Reduction of Adolescent Pregnancy In The Caribbean, compiled by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), estimated that around 20 percent of women in the Caribbean have had at least one child by the age of 19, with a significant percentage of adolescent girls even giving birth before the age of 15.

    Dated December 2013, the document, a copy of which was obtained by Sunday Newsday, showed TT as having recorded a 44.9 percent birth rate among women between the ages of 15 and 19, per 1,000 women, during the period 2010 to 2012.
    Also, UNICEF reports that 2% of the marriages in T&T for the last year involved girls below the age of 18.

    I rest my case.

  7. What case are you resting TMan?This is not breaking news.
    I do not need some glorified UN report ,to bolster any argument of runaway teen age pregnancy , in La Trinity.
    It’s a global problem. What I want to tackle now is, the barbaric acts of Indo Trini Hindustani / Islamist males, and their ugly penchant for marrying , and sexually abusing young girls as young as 9, 10, 11, 12,14- 17,as if they are still living in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India.
    I’m with you ,that teenage pregnancy my unmarried – chiefly Afro Trini children – must also be dealt with ,as a matter of urgency, if the end game is to enhance , and elevate the lives of citizens- especially the struggling poor.
    Where I part company with you , and similar neo tribal apologists, is that you folks naively think that underage kids , producing babies , under the umbrella of marriage , is somehow a step up, and I say what folly!,217458.html

    Again , if you naively think this still traumatized kid ,should be married by her Pundit,or rather ,that she is better off , than some illiterate , high school drop out ,gang-banger sister of Movant , or Lavantille , who is 6 months pregnant, for a hoodlum ,languishing in jail, then we are both wasting time.

    What is most revolting to yours truly, is the fact that your self serving , elitist former female PM , who claimed to care about women ,spent 5 years in power ,yet did nothing about it, or the 4 coward African leaders before her , who allowed this dehumanizing monstrosity to continue for decades , and all due to their bigger desire to appease potential voters,avoided this social problem.
    Fast forward to 2016 , and the only reason we are even having a debate about the subject,is because our Chief Justice Archie , saw the need to broach the subject.
    It is my hope that this government do the right thing for underage kids, in keeping with the traditions of more civilize nations.

    Say yes to upholding Basic/Fundamental Human Rights, for both adults, and kids of non voting age alike!

    1. Say yes to upholding Basic/Fundamental Human Rights, for both adults, and kids of non voting age alike!(NEAL)

      Are you including Gay and Lesbian Rights as fundamental human rights?

  8. Let me reiterate , for those unfamiliar with my commentaries, on this there Trini Center Information Highway. ‘Solidarity Matters!’
    As my late , extremely wise, Tobago Grandmother ,would often say to yours truly,many moons ago, when she still walked this earth- ‘one hand can’t clap.’
    Put differently-In Socio-Political struggles, it’s imperative that Advocates , look out for the interest of others.
    More importantly,ending suffering,of ‘all sentient beings,’ is a principal goal, for us Buddhists, who claim to walk the part.
    Hopefully this answer satisfy you , mi neo progressive amigo.
    Luv Humanity people!

Comments are closed.