Category Archives: History

Politics and the Guyana Middle Class – By Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

Ralph Ramkarran

The middle class, which supported the PPP in 1950 and was heavily represented in its leadership, began to divide on the basis of the ethno-political developments after 1955. This division and consolidation matured only in the early 1960s.

During this process Burnham saw the importance of the middle class, particularly the African middle class. He courted the United Democratic Party, which was the political expression of the League of Coloured People and eventually merged with it. According to some critics of the PPP, Jagan signaled the need for a similar outreach in his 1954 Congress speech.

If this is so then it is evidence that both leaders saw the importance of capturing the support of the middle class, or rather, that section of the middle class which they expected to be sympathetic. Continue reading

The Mapmaker’s Dilemma – By Barry Evans

From the beginning, mapmakers have had to contend with the problems inherent in translating the surface of a three-dimensional spherical object (the Earth) to the flat plane of a map. Barry Evans at The North Coast Journal takes a look at the “tearing” versus “stretching” methods of map-drawing, as epitomized in Bucky’s Dymaxion Map and the Mercator Projection, respectively.

Commons Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion world map, which can be folded to make a regular 20-sided icosahedron (one of the five "Platonic solids").

Commons
Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion world map, which can be folded to make a regular 20-sided icosahedron (one of the five “Platonic solids”).

The Mapmaker’s Dilemma  – By

If you’re over 50, chances are the obligatory world maps hanging in your classrooms were based on the Mercator projection. You probably remember it: Greenland, which is 14 times smaller than Africa, appears to be the same size as the continent. And Europe looks twice as large as South America, instead of half the size, as it really is.

Dutchman Gerard Mercator, as smart a businessman as he was a mapmaker, would have been appalled if he knew his map projection was used to educate children in geography, since it was never intended as anything like an accurate depiction of the globe.

The English title of his 1569 map (the first world map to use what we now call the Mercator projection) is “A New and Enlarged Description of the Earth with Corrections for Use in Navigation.”   Continue reading

GAZA: The War For Nothing – by Uri Avnery

The War For Nothing
30/08/14 - By Uri Avnery

gazaAFTER 50 DAYS, the war is over. Hallelujah.

On the Israeli side: 71 dead, among them 66 soldiers, 1 child.

On the Palestinian side: 2,143 dead, 577 of them children, 263 women, 102 elderly. 11,230 injured. 10,800 buildings destroyed. 8,000 partially destroyed. About 40,000 damaged homes. Among the damaged buildings: 277 schools, 10 hospitals, 70 mosques, 2 churches. Also, 12 West Bank demonstrators, mostly children, who were shot.

So what was it all about?

The honest answer is: About nothing.

Neither side wanted it. Neither side started it. It just so happened.

LET US recapitulate the events, before they are forgotten.  Continue reading

African-Guyanese traditions need to be revived and cherished – by Murphy Browne

African-Guyanese traditions need to be revived and cherished

Jane engage and she tink nobady like she
Jane engage and she tink nobady like she
Run a kokah dam someting bruk away
Run a kokah dam
Jane engage and she walk the village wid style
O run a kokah dam someting bruk away
Run a kokah dam

From Guyanese kwe-kwe song “Jane Engage”

Singing and dancing to kwe-kwe songs is an important part of some African Guyanese pre-wedding celebration. The songs are sung in the Guyanese Creolese language which is derived from several Central African and West African languages combined with the languages of the Europeans who enslaved Africans. The kwe-kwe pre-wedding celebration does not seem to have a corresponding ceremony in any present-day African nation which suggests it was probably derived from a combination of African ceremonies. 

Continue reading

50 years of Notting Hill Carnival: the changing face of London’s party weekend

50 years of Notting Hill Carnival: the changing face of London’s party weekend

An event that began as an attempt to lift the spirits of West Indian immigrants has survived controversy and violence, but now the street party is also big business

The Observer, Sunday 24 August 2014 – Nadia Khomami

Notting Hill Carnival, London 2013

Last year’s carnival, which is thought to have attracted about a million people. Photograph: Ben Cawthra/REX

The first memory Mikey Dread has of Notting Hill carnival is a warm one. His now famous sound system, Channel One, had just finished playing a show in a giant shed in Portobello Road to 2,000 people. They had begun to take down the equipment in anticipation of doing it all again the next day when a group of local men in their 60s approached them. “They said to us ‘no, there’s no need to pack up, we’ll stay here and look after your stuff’. And they did. They stayed up the whole night playing dominoes and looking after our sound system.”   Continue reading

2014 GCA HONOREES – Dmitri Allicock awarded second prize – Godfrey Chin Prize for Heritage Journalism

2014 GUYANA FOLK FESTIVAL SEASON CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2014 GCA HONOREES

Godfrey Chin Prize for Heritage Journalism

Dmitri Allicock AwardNote: click document above to enlarge

Visit the Dmitri Allicock Blog to view all of his articles  <click

Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming – Nick Hanauer -TED video

Nick Hanauer: Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming

Photos of Guyana – by Francis Quamina Farrier

 Photos of Guyana – by Francis Quamina Farrier

A photo of a bird’s eye view of Georgetown could be so Beautiful; but it is a different scene on the ground. As the saying goes, a picture is like a thousand words, and I’ve decided to submit a few of the photos of Georgetown taken in July, 2014, on the ground.

A Fly Jamaica jetliner at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport,Timehri.  (FQ Farrier photo)

A Fly Jamaica jetliner at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport,Timehri. (FQ Farrier photo)

Continue reading

Reparations: Sir Hilary Beckles addresses Britain’s Parliament + video on reparations

ADDRESS DELIVERED BY PROFESSOR SIR HILARY BECKLES, CHAIRMAN OF THE CARICOM REPARATIONS COMMISSION, HOUSE OF COMMONS, PARLIAMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN, COMMITTEE ROOM 14, THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2014, 9:00 P.M.

Sir Hilary Beckles

Sir Hilary Beckles

Madam Chair, the distinguished member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott, other distinguished members of the House of Lords, and House of Commons, Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corp, colleagues at the head table, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I speak this evening, in this honourable chamber of the House of Commons, as Chairman of the Caricom Commission on Reparations. My colleagues of the Commission are tasked with the preparation and presentation of the evidentiary basis for a contemporary truth: that the Government of Great Britain, and other European states that were the beneficiaries of enrichment from the enslavement of African peoples, the genocide of indigenous communities, and the deceptive breach of contract and trust in respect of Indians and other Asians brought to the plantations under indenture, have a case to answer in respect of reparatory justice. Continue reading

Guyana: Capitol TV News Videos – 04 August 2014

Guyana: Capitol News TV Videos – 04 August 2014

  • DeSouza, Ogunseye hold on to claims Burnham’s gov’t killed Walter Rodney
  • Dynamic Airways restart delayed
  • Mahdia residents protest for better roads
  • APNU roasts gov’t over drug supply contracts
  • Homeless men make spectator stand their refuge
  • Sports
DeSouza, Ogunseye hold on to claims Burnham’s gov’t killed Walter RodneyPosted: 04 Aug 2014 02:57 PM PDT

On the stand, Karen DeSouza, who described herself then as a foot soldier for the Working People’s Alliance, was put to defend her claim that she believed the then Burnhan government had killed historian and political activist Dr Walter Rodney, who ended up dead when a bomb exploded inside the car he was sitting in […] Continue reading
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