Tag Archives: Selwyn R. Cudjoe

Honorable Lives / Forgotten Worlds

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 26, 2021

By the rivers of Babylon/Where we sat down/And there we wept/When we remembered Zion.

But the wicked carried us away in captivity/Required from us a song/How can we sing King Alpha song/ In a strange land?

—Jimmy Cliff, “Rivers of Babylon”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo Fridays ago Brian Lehrer interviewed me on his radio show on WNYC (New York) about Jamaica’s most recent petition to Britain for $10.5 billion (US) in reparation for the damage done to our people during slavery. I informed Lehrer that Jamaicans have been battling Spain and Britain for the control of their lives and the product of their labor ever since those two countries enslaved and later colonized their country.
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PNM: Avoiding the Pitfall of Decline

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 19, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeTwo weeks ago South Africa’s Constitutional Court sentenced Jacob Zuma to 15 months in prison for contempt of court. He refused to appear at a government enquiry committee that was looking into the corruption that took place during his nine-year rule. The party (ANC) began to run the state as though it was just another arm of the party, and therein lay its downfall.
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The danger of verbal violence

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 12, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI don’t know how the acidic squabble between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition will end, but I know that verbal violence can have as much devastating consequences as physical violence.

Two of our most prominent leaders cannot be at each other’s throats every day, with their hate-filled language poisoning the national blood stream.
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Saying Yes, Sometimes

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
July 04, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThe condemnations came fast and furious. U.S. actor Michael B. Jordan, it seems, was farse and outaplace to name his new rum J’Ouvert and equally outatiming to set the label of his product on a box that included “a schematic of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, plus a written reference to Trinidad and to J’Ouvert as a local celebration of emancipation and carnival” (Newsday, June 21).

One Trini woman mused: “We look for that. This is what happens when we are constantly ambivalent about our culture, largely ignore its historical, spiritual and ideological significance” (Newsday, June 21).
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Time to heal, reconcile and conciliate

By Stephen Kangal
July 01, 2021

Stephen KangalThe work and deliberations of the Committee of the Whole on the two Tobago Self Government Bills have been adjourned sine die.

The PMTT has indicated that they may not come back to the House before September and may even lapse by December. This is the low measure of seriousness attributed to Tobago’s autonomy after the obscene “gallerying” of Monday, Tuesday and today Wednesday by Rowley and his gang of copy-cat neophytes.
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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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Facing the Past

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 21, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeOn Thursday last, US President Joseph Biden signed into law an important bill (the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act) that makes June 19 a national holiday in the United States to commemorate the end of slavery.

In signing this bill President Biden reminded Americans: “The promise of equality is not going to be fulfilled until we become real—it becomes real in our schools and on our main streets and in our neighbourhoods” (NYT, June 18)
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Digging Out We Eye in Broad Daylight

By Dr Selwyn R, Cudjoe
June 15, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeA few days ago the Attorney General asked the Parliament to approve a supplementary vote of $118.9 million for his ministry. Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein asked (perhaps pleaded is a better word) how much money the lawyers (120 local and nine foreign) were being paid and the matters for which they were retained.

From the AG’s angle of vision, such a question was preposterous. He responded: “I would like to place on record that the request for the supplementation is driven by the fact that we are still in the course of settling $141.3 million in arrears from the period 2010 to 2015, during which $444.4 million was expended and arrears of $141.3 million left.”
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White Brutality Against Black and Brown People

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 07, 2021

“Get the niggers,” was their slogan, / “Kill them, burn them, set the pace. / Let them know that we are white men, / Teach them how to keep their place.”

—A. J. Smitherman, “The Tulsa Race Riot and Massacre” (1922)

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI had just left Harvard University as an assistant professor and was doing “Time to Talk,” a series of interviews for T&T Television. In 1982 I interviewed Sam Nujomo, the founding father of Namibia, where he had addressed the UN Decolonization Committee about his country’s independence. We talked about Namibia’s struggle for independence and the stain German genocide had left upon the consciousness of his people.
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Searching for Our Truths

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 31, 2021

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeThere is much that is silly about the back and forth between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition about who is to be blamed for the rising death rate the savage pandemic has inflicted upon the people of our country. Rowley says that the candlelight vigils “organized and paid for by the UNC is a major contributory factor in the spike of Covid infections,” whereas Persad-Bissessar claims that the 50,000 people who visited Tobago during Easter “on the Prime Minister’s invitation resulted in the outbreak” (Express, May 25).
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