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Tag Archives: Claudius Fergus

Judging Columbus through history (Pt 4): Genocide and white supremacy in Trinidad

The following is the last in a four part series by historian Dr Claudius Fergus on the enduring—and arguably unjustifiable—heroic standing of Christopher Columbus in modern society: Socialist thinker Karl Liebknecht compared European imperialism to a cyclone spinning across the globe, driven and sustained by its militarism that “crushes people …

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From romance to reality (Pt 2): how Compte de Lopinot forcibly enslaved free Africans

The well known, formerly enslaved, black abolitionist, Mary Prince, cogently argued in her autobiography in 1831: “How can slaves be happy when they have the halter round their neck and the whip upon their back?” Prince was directly confronting the lie of slave owners and other apologists for slavery that …

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From romance to reality: Why we deserve the truth about Compte de Lopinot and his “contented slaves”

Responding to the National Trust’s declaration to elevate the Lopinot Historical Complex to a heritage site, a Trinidad Guardian article in 2013 commended the villagers for preserving vital elements of the built landscape of early nineteenth century. Presumably, the “colourful history” to which the writer alluded is the abstract on …

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Claude’s Comments: Homage to Winnie Mandela, the greatest 20th Century African heroine

Arguably, Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was the greatest 20th Century African heroine of the combined struggle for the emancipation of humanity from white supremacism and the liberation of woman from patriarchal oppression. Accordingly, it is difficult to imagine a greater outpouring of tributes to any other contemporary female freedom fighter. Nevertheless, …

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Black Identity (Pt 7): From Chaucer’s contempt to Caribbean Black Power; can 1970 advances be sustained?

In England, the word black (originally spelt “blæk”), from its Germanic/Dutch root “blah”/“blaken,” first appears in Old English around 1210, meaning “absolutely dark, absorbing all light, the colour of soot or coal” [www.etymonline.com]. Interestingly, “blac” from the same root, meant: “bright, shining, glittering, pale.” Linked to fire, the two meanings …

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Claude’s Comments: Black Identity (Pt 3): Diaspora Indians and the negotiation of Black/Creole ethnicity

I ended my “Comments” of 21 February with anthropologist Kumar Mahabir’s opinion that a re-scripting of the “Black Power” label might have seen more Indo-Trinbagonians eagerly embracing the movement. This will remain an open question. But if his reactions to other aspects of Afro-Trinidadian cultural engineering without the “black” label …

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