Tag Archives: African

Protests and State Violence: Leaders Must Stop Dodging Responsibility

By Dr Tye Salandy
July 02, 2020

Dr Tye SalandyApproximately 50 years ago, mainly young people — disillusioned by the continued colonial nature of the country, the deep racism, classism and limited opportunities — made brave efforts to improve things. Instead of the then government, led by Dr Eric Williams, listening and properly engaging with these persons, the leaders of the movement were arrested and jailed, people were beaten and brutalized, and persons were hunted, shot and even killed. “Law and order” were not about the best interest of the citizens but about preserving the status quo. Fifty years later we are faced with unrests that parallel the Hosay Riots, the Camboulay Riots, the 1919 Labour riots, the 1930s Labour uprisings, and the 1970s Black Power movement. It is this eruption of discontent from those who are experiencing the depths of marginalization and brutality that has historically brought about the greatest improvements in conditions in unjust social structures. All of them were met with brutal violence by authorities, yet when history looks back, all these events were important parts of the evolution of our society. By all indications, the present government has not learned these lessons and may repeat the grave errors of the past.
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The Lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 09, 2020

PART 3

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history.”

—Marcus Cicero

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Friday, May 23, 1958, Lionel Seukeran, MP for Naparima (DLP) and grandfather of Faris Al-Rawi, AG, offered the following motion to the Legislative Council: “Whereas the Chief Minister [Eric Williams] is reported to have made an unwarranted and derogatory attack on the Indian community at a public meeting at Woodford Square, following the Federal elections, whereas his utterances on that occasion have aroused the indignation and caused grave concern among all sections of law-abiding people, and have contributed greatly to the embarrassment of people of East Indian descent…
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“Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired”

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
June 07, 2020

Dr. Kwame NantambuEver since they were brought involuntarily and violently from Mother Africa in 1619 to be enslaved on plantations in the United States, enslaved Africans and their descendants have been the victims of Code Noir, Jim Crow laws, Lynch Laws, Ku Klux Klan, the infamous “Three Fifths Clause”, “Grandfather Clause”. Racial segregation, institutionalized racism, “selective prosecution”, racial profiling, “Stand your Ground” law, just to highlight a few injustices.
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Letter to My Grandson

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 01, 2020

My dear Josh:

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI write to you at what is supposed to be a happy time although it is tinged with sadness.

The happiness first.

You have spent seventeen years preparing for your graduation day. It is a time to celebrate with your parents and your friends, your teachers and loved ones, after years of hard work and dedication. You have been to summer camps—you even had a stint at one of the leading technology companies in the country—as you strove to carve out a space to begin your new adventure in college and to think about what you want to do after you graduate from college.
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COVID-19 & African-Americans

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
May 07, 2020

Dr. Kwame NantambuIndeed, one of the most tragic and realistic fall-outs of the novel, contagious COVID-19 pandemic in the United States is its most violent and deleterious impact/attack on African-Americans. Population statistics reveal that African-Americans comprise 13.4% of the national population but yet account for the following: in May 2020, Wisconsin African-Americans are only a miniscule 6.7% of the population but have accounted for a whopping 32% of COVID-19 deaths; in Michigan, African-Americans account for 14% of the population but 40% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths; in Missouri, African-Americans comprise 12% of its population but 40% of its COVID-19 deaths; while the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out that nation-wide, African-Americans are 33% of all hospitalized cases.
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Black Betrayal (In the Age of the Coronavirus)

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 13, 2020

“They say the sun will shine for all/But in some people’s world, it doesn’t shine at all./ So much been said, so little been done./ They still killing the people/ And they having their fun”

—Bob Marley, “Crisis”

PART 3

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI have been writing about the plight of black people in Trinidad and Tobago for a while. Like Marvin Gaye, sometimes it “make me wanna holler/The way they do my life” (“Inner City Blues”). I have argued that we will never solve black impoverishment unless we see it as a national problem that demands the same resolve that we brought to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
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My Spiritual Inheritance

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 06, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeDuring the late 1940s and early 1950s, early on Sunday mornings, we would hear the bells ringing out loudly in the street as a band of women, dressed immaculately in white with varied colored head ties proceeded to the Tacarigua River to conduct their religious rituals. At the tender age of six or seven I did not know what such celebrations (I saw it as a celebration) were about. All I knew was that my Tantie Lenora was among that band of women. Somehow, I felt embarrassed or even ashamed.
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Black Betrayal, Or God Don’t Like Ugly

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 31, 2020

PART 2

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn response to my column of three weeks ago, “Black Betrayal,” a critic attacked me in a slanderous manner. Mercifully, the Express deleted the more vitriolic aspects of his original letter. He claimed I invented Aaron St. John to carry on my nefarious agenda.

St. John responded:

“My name is Aaron Kerwin St. John, son of Gemma St. John, and grandson of Ester St. John. I am very real although certain persons would choose not to see the truth…They would rather we, the ordinary people, just shut up and be sad, unhappy, and poor, and continue, no matter what, to support this wickedness called governance by the PNM.
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Black betrayal

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 09, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAFTER my article appeared in the Express last Sunday I received the following note: “Gd Mr Cudjoe. I have been reading your articles in the newspapers for a while and I want to invite to come and take a look at East Port of Spain where we live. My name is Aaron St John. I am 41 years old and was born in this city. It has not changed for all my life. It remains the same dirty, nasty undeveloped, unprotected and it’s only getting worse and more dangerous. Our lives are not improving and a deep sadness covers every home and everyone in and around the city.
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An incomplete revolution

By Raffique Shah
March 02, 2020

Raffique ShahFifty years after the Black Power Revolution shook Trinidad and Tobago’s foundation, many people, mostly older folks, are trying to quantify what benefits, if any, were derived from those tumultuous events. In contrast, younger people have no idea that anything significant happened in 1970, nor are they interested in our history. Hell, they have little or no interest in history as a subject, far less in local history.
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