Category Archives: colonialism

GUYANA: Balram Singh Rai (1921-2022): The source of his politics – By Clem Seecharan

This is abridged from my introductory essay to a biography of Rai by Baytoram Ramharack, Against the Grain: Balram Singh Rai and the Politics of British Guiana (Trinidad: Chakra, 2005).

Editor’s Note: In the last two weeks, we have lost several Guyanese who have made significant contributions to political, economic and cultural life. This week’s column pays homage to one of them, and is dedicated also to the memory of Ron Bobb-Semple and Yesu Persaud.

Balram Singh Rai

Balram Singh Rai (1921-2022), a minister in Cheddi Jagan’s government from 1959 until he was expelled from the PPP in June 1962, died in Oxford, England earlier this month. He migrated to England in 1970, and had taken no perceptible part in Guyanese politics since his Justice Party was comprehensively defeated in the first general elections under PR, in December 1964. It is arguable that he was demoralised by the scale of his defeat, and that he became something of a recluse thereafter. He was a tremendous loss to  Guyana’s political culture. I will attempt a survey of what inspired his brief political career, his philosophical promptings.          Continue reading

BOOK: ‘White Debt: The Demerara Uprising and Britain’s Legacy of Slavery’

White Debt: Time for Britain to pay up for its legacy of slavery

Thomas Harding is author of ‘White Debt: The Demerara Uprising and Britain’s Legacy of Slavery’ published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson . You can order the book from One Tree Books in the UK, email sally@onetreebooks.com . You can follow Thomas on Twitter @thomasharding

It was a warm dry day in October when I visited Bachelors Adventure on the East Coast of Demerara. With me, just a few steps from the public road, was the poet and social worker Ras Blackman, who grew up in the village and was kindly giving me a tour.

On 20 August 1823, more than 4,000 enslaved women and men had gathered here, Ras told me, in what had been a cotton field. On the other side of the public road were assembled 200 members of the British militia, each carrying a rifle. I was suddenly overtaken by a sense of awe. Awe at the courage of the enslaved people. Awe at their remarkable organisational skills. Awe at the profound legacy of freedom they had left behind, including for me, a White person.  Continue reading

GUYANA: Think on that -The poorest of us – By Mosa Telford

By December 4, 2021

There are those of us who will never dance for our supper at the cost of our dignity.

We will not allow ourselves to be controlled like marionettes by puppeteers who wish to destroy us. We know who we are and are proud of our heritage. We know that the bones and biscuits handed out by those who keep the meat and wheat to make bread for themselves is not worth us selling our souls.

The psychological warfare to dehumanize us and the attempts to erase our history and destroy our present and future does not divert our path of freedom of thought, freedom of speech and the freedom to be honest.            Continue reading

GUYANA SPEAKS– TWO ZOOM EVENTS — January 16 and January 30, 2022

You are invited to join Guyana SPEAKS for TWO ZOOM EVENTS in January 2022.
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1. Sunday, 16th January at 3pm UK time
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Event title: Thomas Harding on his book, White Debt (2022)
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Event Summary: Thomas Harding’s book, White Debt, revisits The Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823 and offers support to calls for reparation. He will be in conversation with Juanita Cox, talking about the process of writing the book, his trip to Guyana and the need to commission artists to represent in art, the figures of enslaved African abolitionists like Jack Gladstone.
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Continue reading

BARBADOS — Royal note to Barbados: no apology, no reparations but we love your culture – By Mohamed Hamaludin

Click to Enlarge the Map

OPINION — By MOHAMED HAMALUDIN

Nearly 400 years after the British occupied the island that came to be known as Barbados, the Caribbean nation finally severed official ties with the former “Mother Country” when it replaced Queen Elizabeth II with its governor-general Sandra Mason as the titular head of state. It was surprising that it happened 55 years after independence.

The British presence dated back to 1620 when a Captain Simon Gordon, ignoring the Arawak who lived there for centuries, determined there were no inhabitants. Five years later, on May 14, 1625, a Captain John Powell arrived and, as Barbadian journalist Suleiman Bulbulia noted in a Guardian column on the eve of the severing of the colonial links, claimed it for King James I. “Los Barbados” (the bearded ones), so named by earlier Portuguese visitors for the beard-like appearance of its fig trees, became simply Barbados.            Continue reading

Barbados: Republic Status – 55th Anniversary of Independence – 30th November 2021

Barbadian PM defends Republic move

Prime Minister Mia Mottley
Prime Minister Mia Mottley
Delivering the feature address at the official opening ceremony of the “living and functioning monument” in The City on Saturday evening, 84 years after the 1937 riots, she said the journey towards upliftment and what is possible must continue for the people across every nook and cranny in Barbados.

“Some ask why now? … Because it is important that the lessons of life that have continued to exhibit themselves from this moment of the 1937 rebellion continue,” Mottley said.        Continue reading

Money Laundering: Nigerian Anti-Corruption Tsar Tells Britain’s Boris Johnson:

‘There are thieves and there are receivers, London is most notorious safe haven for looted funds in the world today’ 

By Lionel Faull, Ted Jeory and Purity Mukami | Finance Uncovered

A senior anti-corruption adviser to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari today issued a stinging rebuke to Boris Johnson’s claim that Britain is “not remotely a corrupt country” – saying the UK is in fact a major enabler of looted funds from Nigeria.

Professor Sadiq Isah Radda, who is the executive secretary of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption in Nigeria, told the British Prime Minister that London was actually “the most notorious safe haven for looted funds in the world today”.       Continue reading

Lifestyle: Hair texture discrimination, is it really a thing? – By Akola Thompson

Akola Thompson – November 1, 2021 – Caribbean Loop News

It’s just hair – this is a common admonition that Black women have become accustomed to over the years whenever they have brought up the issue of afro-textured hair discrimination.

This belief that hair is inconsequential to life experiences persists despite it being directly related to a history centred on systemic racism. To challenge this narrative and promote equity, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Legal Defense and Educational Fund has worked to end race-based hair discrimination. This work is aimed at combatting the harmful impacts it has on Black youths and adults in educational, professional and other social spaces.          Continue reading

Guyana: History: Introducing a Multiracial Appeal of 1938: The ‘Negro-Indian Combine’ – By Nigel Westmaas

By October 24, 2021.-– By Nigel Westmaas

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Ruhoman was widely known for his interventions in the press. Politically conservative (he was an open critic of communism), he was a major contributor and respondent to social and political issues. His brother, Peter Ruhoman, was the author of the influential book, The Centenary History of the East Indians of British Guiana.        Continue reading

Guyana: Education: History: The Houses of Queen’s College. – By David Granger

– By March 7, 2010

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