Tag Archives: Selwyn R. Cudjoe

Black American Lives Have Always Mattered…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 29, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAbout one hundred yards north of Whitehall, there is a short street, Maxwell Philip Street, that is located between Prada and Scott streets, in St. Clair, Port of Spain. It is no more than 500 yards long. Although it is located in an affluent part of the city, it commemorates the life of a very important member of our community.

Philip, one of the most respected and accomplished Afro-Trinbagonians of the nineteenth century, might be little known to our contemporaries. However, given the impact that Black Lives Matter (BLM) is having on the present era and the interest it has generated all over the world, it might be wise to become acquainted with Philip, his importance in our history, and the enduring connection of the BLM to Afro-Trinbagonians.
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Be Careful How You Treat Black People

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 29, 2020

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man, without finding the other end of it about his own neck.”

—Frederick Douglass

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFor the past three weeks, the world’s attention has been transfixed by the racial tensions that engulfed the United States. We, in T&T may have been spared “the most vulgar displays of systemic racism” as the prime minister said but, as the old people say: “What miss yo’ ent pass yo.”

The massive resistance against the racism that engulfed the US has to do with how white people and their government treat black people on a day-to-day basis. In T&T I am not sure that our government and those in power are treating its black citizens as they should. An immediate example is how PNM’s Screening Committee treated (and is treating) Robert Le Hunte because he took “a principled stance” on an important issue.
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Columbus and His Progeny

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
June 23, 2020

“White men, I curse you to your face,/ Curse you and all your hated race!/ Great war has placed me in your power;/ I am your captive; this is your hour/ To wreck your bitterest thought of ill;/ To bind or slay me as you will.”

—Horatio Nelson Huggins, Hiroona

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI do not have strong feelings as to whether we should move Columbus’s monument from its present location or whether it should be placed in a special museum. However, I am encouraged by the discussion the issue has engendered and the eloquent articles it has generated.

I am more concerned with the havoc the Europeans have wreaked on our civilization after Columbus’s arrival, the genocide that was perpetrated against our indigenous populations, and the subsequent barbarity to which brown and black people have been subjected.
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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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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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The Lie…

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 25, 2020

PART 2

“All that is needed on the part of the Negro to attain his rightful place [in this society] is to embark on a wild binge of destruction and plunder.”

—Trevor Sudama

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAbout five years ago several Eric Williams scholars were invited to investigate Eric Williams’s work at Oxford University before continuing on to Senate House, London. Brinsley Samaroo, one of the invited scholars, gave an illuminating lecture on Williams after which I asked him whether Williams had called Indo-Trinidadians, rather than a segment of members of the Democratic Labor Party, “a recalcitrant hostile minority.” His answer was an emphatic “No. He did not.”
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Young’s tragic blunder

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 18, 2020

If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.

—Abraham Lincoln

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI thought the expeditious manner in which the Prime Minister and his party handled the coronavirus pandemic rescued their fortunes and gave their supporters reason to believe the PNM would focus on the needs of ordinary people, albeit by circumstances rather than by choice.

Then the unravelling came. Without even being pushed, the Minister of National Security uttered the most unbelievable statements of his career and, by extension, the Government in which he serves. Inexplicably, he continues to do so in the face of evidence to the contrary.
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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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Re-charting our Ruins

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
May 4, 2020

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”

—James 1:5 KJV

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeFifty eight years ago Eric Williams (PNM) and Rudranath Capildeo (DLP/UNC) went to Marlborough House to discuss the path forward to create an independent nation. Williams was determined to take the country into independence while Capildeo wanted to make sure that Afro-Trinbagonians, the majority group, did not discriminate against Indo-Trinbagonians. Subsuming their party interests to the national interest, they inscribed a minority platform into the country’s constitution that protected the rights of Indo-Trinbagonians and other ethnic groups.
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In Defense of Teachers

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
April 29, 2020

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeAlberta Smith (not her real name), my dear friend, has been a primary school teacher for thirty years. She didn’t like last week’s article and didn’t put water in her mouth to tell me so. She sent the following response which I was free to reproduce once I omitted her real name. She wrote:
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