Caribbean Political Economy

Imperialism and Indian Indentureship, Chaman Lal

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Chaman Lal, who was,   visiting Professor at Hindi Chair at the UWI , St Augustine, is Professor & Former Chairperson at the Centre of Indian Languages, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. His article recounts the cruel history of Indian indentureship as a source of exploited labour post-Emanicpation and the long struggle to eliminate it and subsequent movements to forge African-Indian Unity, including,   the roles of Mahatma Gandhi, Cheddi Jagan, CLR James and Walter Rodney.

Read,  Imperialism and Indian Indentureship

Update on Montreal HEC BLackface Incident: Sensitivity Training, Rene Bruemmer

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From the Montreal Gazette

A group of about 30 HEC Montréal students who painted their faces black and paraded around the university pretending to be Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt as part of a freshman event have completed courses in racial sensitivity training. ..

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‘Blackface Incident’: Apology and Remedial Action, Anthony Morgan

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Apology From HEC Montreal

Apology acceptance from Anthony Morgan

‘Blackface’ Incident in Montreal, Anthony Morgan

Anthony Morgan writes of his response to an incident on a Montreal university campus that shows the persistence of racial stereotyping. First publiished in Alissa Trotz’s In The Diaspora column in Stabroek News.

I am a 25 year old Jamaican, born and raised in Canada and currently in my final year of law school at McGill University in Montreal.,   I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Dr. Alissa Trotz for having invited me to write this column. (I wish to) explain how my identity as a Diaspora Citizen has affected my reaction to a very intolerable incident I experienced on a Montreal university campus on September 14th, 2011…


Opinion: Blackface incident shows racism is alive and well in Canada, Charmaine Nelson

Usain Bolt’s Publicist’s Letter to HEC Montreal

Also by Anthony Morgan

Why Haiti Should Not Become a U.N. Protectorate

The CARIFORUM-EC EPA Two Years Later (With Joyce Naar)

The ‘Accidental Rudeness’ of the British, Melanie Newton

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From the Stabroek News. Dr Newton, who is from Barbados, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto.

We may never know the name of the person who recorded and uploaded an August 9 BBC television news segment, in which anchorwoman Fiona Armstrong interviewed the Trinidadian born journalist and black British community spokesperson Darcus Howe. Thanks to this anonymous person’s quick thinking, the full shame of Armstrong and the BBC is now available on Youtube for all the world to see…


Burning Britain, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed

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The economic conditions driving the riots

The rioting, looting and plunder that started in Tottenham on Saturday has now spread like wildfire throughout the capital. Shops were broken into, properties vandalized, and flats and vehicles set alight by gangs of mostly young men in Croydon, Clapham, Brixton, Hackney, Camden, Lewisham, Peckham, Newham, East Ham, Ilford, Enfield, Woolwich, Ealing, and Colliers Wood. Trouble was also reported in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, and Nottingham…


London’s Burning: A Brief Analysis of Urban Warfare, Hal Austin

Hal Austin, a Barbadian, lives in London and is a leading journalist and social commentator from the Black community.

It is too early to give a definitive assessment of the London Uprisings over the weekend, but there are nevertheless two key lessons that have emerged. The first and most important is the social breakdown that can take place when the police force has become an invading army, using paramilitary tactics, and has lost the trust of the people it is meant to serve…


Eric Williams and the Challenge of Contemporary Caribbean Leadership, Colin Palmer

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25th Annual Eric Williams Memorial Lecture, delivered at the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago on 11 June 2011. Dr. Colin A. Palmer is Director of the Scholars in Residence Programme at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

I shall focus on Eric Williams’s imagination of a new Trinidad and Tobago and a new Caribbean and the leadership he provided. I shall also address the continuing relevance of his vision in our contemporary societies…

Click here for Palmer lecture on Williams (PDF file)

C.L.R. James on West Indian Federation, 1958

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Text of a lecture delivered by C.L.R. James on “Federation (West Indies and British Guiana)” at Queen’s College, Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) in June 1958. It is posted here in view of the upcoming C.L.R. James Memorial Lecture.

I must begin by noting one or two criticisms that have been made not only about Federation but about my presence in British Guiana. It has been said that I, a stranger, have no right to come here to discuss with the people of British Guiana the question of Federation. I am not in the least offended by the remark. My welcome in many quarters has been very warm, even enthusiastic, and I think I detect in the critic’s remarks not so much an objection to my presence here, as a means of indicating in a disguised manner his opposition to Federation…

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‘Born in Treachery’: Imperial Intrigue and the Origins of Independent Guyana, BBC

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Declassified Colonial Office documents reveal the extent of British duplicity, American hypocrisy and the naivety of a militantly anti-colonial leader who nevertheless trusted in British justice; in bringing British Guiana to ‘Independence’ in 1966. This textbook lesson in imperial intrigue and machination should be required listening for every Caribbean student.

Link to BBC Report and 30-Minute Radio Broadcast

See also The ‘New Frontier’ of Empire in the Caribbean: The Transfer of Power in British Guiana, 1981-1964, by Cary Fraser

The Tarnished Quality of Governance in Trinidad and Tobago, Reginald Dumas

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Feature Address On The Occasion Of The Celebration By The National Council Of Indian Culture (NCIC) Of The 47TH Anniversary Of The Independence Of Trinidad And Tobago,Divali Nagar Auditorium, Chaguanas, Saturday, August 29, 2009, 6.30 p.m.

I thought I would say something this evening about the state of our Republic as we prepare to enter the 48th year of our political independence. It is no secret that our population, whatever the socio-economic or other status of its members, is on the whole unhappy, or at the very least uncomfortable, with the condition of Trinidad and Tobago. We have specific concerns about crime, or race, or the cost of living, or the health service, or the carnage on the roads, and so on. But driving all these concerns is one major factor among others: the tarnished quality of governance….

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‘We Are All African Now’: A Reflection


by Mervyn Claxton

I have read the article,We Are All African Now (Intelligent Life Magazine, Summer 2009) with interest. First of all, I must state that I refuse to knock the Genographic project or, indeed, any genuinely scientific research on Africa, even if such research is carried out by whites. Africans and Blacks everywhere have everything to gain and nothing to lose by such research. I naturally exclude from the category “scientific research” the pseudoscience of 19th-century European racial anthropoloogists and white supremacists, like Paul Topinard, Arthur de Gobineau, and James Anthony Froude, who promoted so-called “scientific racism”, with its sub-categories – anthropometry, craniometry, phrenology – which allegedly “proved” that Blacks were by nature inferior to whites, or worse, that we did not belong to the human race. Like all pseudoscience, “scientific racism” was later discredited by scientific research. Who carried out the research that discredited scientific racism? Whites.

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