Historian and retired lecturer Prof Brinsley Samaroo
By Dr Tye Salandy
July 10, 2023
I first met Brinsley Samaroo many years ago on a radio programme where I brought up an aspect of race relations in Trinidad and Tobago that I thought his explanation was missing. He agreed with me, and we spoke for a long time following the programme. Since then we would talk closely over the years, and he would give me books and critical feedback on my work. In the years to follow, I would send countless students to Brinsley, and he would give all of them the same enthusiastic support, mentorship and guidance. He would go beyond the boundary to assist and was always willing to give helpful critiques. I would invite him to give guest lectures and he was always phenomenal, managing to push the boundaries of knowledge in a calm, serious, but witty way. We would joke about him living in the West Indiana section of the UWI library, because he would always be there. He had a space on a desk with all his research materials and notes, and he would be there almost every single day of the week the library was open. When I could not reach him on his phone I would go and find him there, along with many other visitors who would come there to find him. Continue reading Brinsley Samaroo: A Historian of the People→
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…→