Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Why Oxford Street to Kwame Ture? Why not a First Peoples or East Indian name?

Dear Editor: Why Oxford Street to Kwame Ture? Why not a First Peoples or East Indian name?

“I have noted that the Deputy Mayor of Port of Spain Hillan Morean told an Emancipation Day audience that the Port of Spain City Corporation plans to rename Oxford Street after Kwame Ture, Trinidad-born Pan-African activist.

“[…] Why change to mainly African names and not equally to the First Peoples, Spanish, French Creole, Portuguese, Chinese and East Indian icons?”

The following Letter to the Editor on the plan to rename Oxford Street in Port of Spain was submitted to Wired868 by Fatimah Mohammed from Cunupia:

Photo: Trinidadian Kwame Ture, formerly Stokely Carmichael, is credited for turning the phrase ‘Black Power’ into a military slogan while living in the United States.

Dear Editor,

I have noted that the Deputy Mayor of Port of Spain Hillan Morean told an Emancipation Day audience that the Port of Spain City Corporation plans to rename Oxford Street after Kwame Ture, Trinidad-born Pan-African activist.

Morean is following the footsteps of the San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello who is doing a similar street and highway name changing drive after pannist Ken ‘Pro­fes­sor’ Philmore, athlete Hasely Crawford, etc.

But why change to mainly African names and not equally to the First Peoples, Spanish, French Creole, Portuguese, Chinese and East Indian icons?

And why not go the whole hog and change Port of Spain to Port of Africa, and Trinidad to Iere (probably meaning ‘humming bird’), so named by the Arawak inhabitants.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read the response to this letter by acting Port of Spain Mayor Hillan Morean.

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9 comments

  1. In Trinidad whole towns have been named to memorialize east Indians. Names like Hindustan and Barataria for instance. We’d be hard-pressed to find examples like this in Trinidad,a town/street named after any African. The saying “the exception proves the rule” applies to the fact that all people of African descent in Trinidad&Tobago bear European names. Even in an effort to honour our local heroes, if the honor goes to an Indian/Chinese person an Indian//Chinese name is associated,rightly so, with that recognition. Trinidadians of African descent have no such prospect& and as a result of the names they have all recognition for any accomplishments will always be credited to Europeans. Kwame Ture memory for a large cross-section of Africans in the diaspora, is worthy of more than a street name-change in Port of Spain. The ease with which street names are appropriated speaks of a temporary memorial. Maybe we can have a statue in his like-ness commissioned. This is a small thing for such a great life-force.

  2. I don’t know if this person was sleeping or simply not paying attention but there are other places in Trinidad and Tobago that already contained East Indian, Amerindian and European names. Does Fyzabad (named after Faisabad in India) ring a bell? However, I’m starting to believe this person is up to some mischief and perhaps there are some racial undertones in that post. I’m curious to know why some people feel threatened when promoting Afro-Trinis and overall African culture in Trinidad and Tobago.

  3. There are very few places in Trinidad with names which tell about our African heritage. Anyone who has any knowledge of our history would know that. Naming places with African names would even out the imbalance , so go ahead Mayors…correct a wrong

  4. Well, Fatima of illogical thinkers, the dedication of street name change was made in an African Emancipation celebration and most likely any ideas, conversation, remembrances or recognition, in such habitat will pertain to African ancestors with African history culture and names not of French, Indians or British. Moreover, the street that was being address for change was Oxford Street and who most son of the soil of African that put Trinidad on the global awareness coining the phrase “black power”, that many in the American civil rights movement of the sixties misunderstood and still falls on you. Stokely Carmicheal as we the people know him is most fitting for such dedication such also Beverly Jones, Brian Davis, and Guy Harewood and others who blood run for the passion of patriotism.

    • When I read posts like this, it confirms my thinking in respect of why T&T is in such a fragmented state.

      Our divisiveness and mindset of ‘to each his own’, serves only to retard us as a nation. *sigh*.

  5. WHICH RACE SUFFERRED THE MOST ?

    • “WHICH RACE SUFFERRED THE MOST ?”

      Huh? Your question seems to suggest that selection of one of our nationals for recognition of his/her accomplishments, should be restricted to or heavily weighted in favour of Trinidadians belonging to whichever race that is deemed to have suffered the most.

      Am I correct in my interpretation? Hopefully I am wrong!

  6. It is obvious that the good lady does not know that we have many Amerindian names in use in Trinidad ex Naparima, Mucurapo, Chaguanas etc etc already. But more importantly Kwame Ture ( born Stokely Carmichael ) is a Trinidadian of international significance.But then again she might not know this or chooses to not know or care.

    • I personally would have preferred a cleaner, organised city center, before replacing the names with ppl of worth! I’d quicker pull down “Pennys” name and put back “Queen”, cause nothing bout that street in its current state, reflects the beauty or the elegance of the Lady!
      If the Mayor/City Authorities, can get that right, I’ll openly endorse the name changes and even lend a helping hand or bulldozer to remove the fenced and gated edifice of Columbus!