Old pirates, yes, they rob I / Sold I to the merchant ships/ Minutes after they took I / From the bottomless pit / But my hand was made strong /By the hand of the Almighty / We forward in this generation / Triumphantly.
—Bob Marley, “Redemption Song”
In the 1970s I had the privilege of teaching the late Fr Henry Charles at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He was one of the most brilliant students I have ever taught. In fact, he was more brilliant than I in certain respects. I taught a course on West Indian literature, and he seemed to know everything about the writers we were discussing. I deferred to him on many occasions when difficult questions came up in class. Continue reading The politics of redemption→
In 2001 when UNC was in power, I objected to its endorsement of Dr Bhoe Tewarie as principal of The University of the West Indies (UWI). I argued that Tewarie was not sufficiently prepared for such a position, his having only attained the status of “lecturer” in his academic career. Readers can determine the truth or falsity of my position.
In May 2017, when PNM recommended that Robert Bermudez serve as Chancellor of the university, I depicted his appointment in a satirical manner since I couldn’t take his appointment seriously. I believed he wasn’t the man for the job. Continue reading Black & Brown People Beware→
In 2003 I fought a doggedly battle to convince educators at (The University of the West Indies) that grades and standardized tests should not be the only criteria for selecting students to enter our university. Many people castigated me and a few called me a racist. Morgan Job bleated: “If Selwyn Cudjoe’s racist quota is implemented, UWI will have semi-illiterate African lecturers teaching illiterate students. They will go into the classrooms, the Public Service and police to compound the problems which plague the nation, and are a necessary consequence of the blight of mediocrity we have nurtured and promoted” (Trinidad Guardian, August 21, 2003). Continue reading Diversity Matters→
The Jamaica Gleaner, it is true, was impetuous. On November 25 it announced that the University of Glasgow (UG) and the University of the West Indies had reached an agreement regarding reparative justice. According to the Gleaner, UG had agreed to pay “£200 million (approximately J$34 billion) of value in reparation payments to The UWI.” Continue reading Reparatory Justice→
TWO students of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine campus are now in police custody after they were arrested yesterday for their roles in a heated students’ protest at the campus’ south gate over an increase in assaults and robberies at the university. The confrontation started around 1.45 pm and ended shortly before 4 pm.
The demonstration, which began as a town hall meeting for students of the UWI’s Student Activity Centre sought to address the concerns of the students over a reported lack of security at the campus, descended into chaos when students blocked the gate and resisted campus security, administration officials and police. Continue reading UWI uproar→
KINGSTON—The University of the West Indies (UWI) is backing Caribbean Community (Caricom) governments in protesting the European Union’s (EU) recent blacklisting of regional countries it considers tax haven.
In a statement issued, Vice-Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles said the UWI “stands with the governments of the Caribbean in protesting the recent actions by the EU and calling for a more transparent and equitable regulatory system and joins the call for the EU to enter into a process to resolve the issue.” Continue reading UWI backs protests against EU blacklist→
On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, delivered the seventh Annual George Lamming Distinguished Lecture at The UWI Cave Hill Campus’ Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI) in Barbados. Vice-Chancellor Beckles spoke on Britain’s Perfect Caribbean Crime: Ignored Genocide, Faked Emancipation, Insincere Independence, and No Reparations. Continue reading Britain’s Perfect Caribbean Crime: Ignored Genocide, Faked Emancipation…→
WE CONDEMN the flagrant violation of the privacy of a wide range of citizens which has been brought to the fore in recent weeks. Further, we also condemn the blatant – and sometimes politically-motivated – instances of victim shaming which have accompanied these incidents.
The matter involving former PNM senator Hafeez Ali has been accompanied by rhetoric from people seeking to score political points. Continue reading Victim shaming→
THE RECENT debate of the rights and wrongs of a new UWI law campus being built in Debe revealed some of the complexities of the business of education and unleashed an unusually high level of public discourse.
I use the word “business” advisedly.
I could also add the word “politics”. I pose two questions arising from the hornet’s nest uncovered by former UWI principal and President of Trinidad and Tobago George Maxwell Richards in his speech at the recent opening of the 2015-16 Law Term. Firstly, what are universities for? Secondly, do we need more lawyers? I share Professor Richards’ view that a university’s “…contribution depends substantially on the activities of its academics and students to discuss, evaluate, criticise and investigate ideas and thus make available to the policymakers and the community possible options.” I would add that universities are where people learn to develop their thinking and knowledge to an advanced level that will serve in the advancement of the human race in all its aspects. Continue reading UWI in Debe – 2 questions→