Category Archives: History

Brazil: Five Centuries of Change – by Thomas E. Skidmore.

Brazil: Five Centuries of Change by Thomas E. Skidmore.

BrazilIn the late 1400s, tiny Portugal with its mere one million inhabitants led the world in navigation, in part due the superior sailing skills its merchants developed on the rough seas of the Atlantic as opposed to the calmer waters of the Mediterranean. Though later bested in navigation by Holland (1.5 million inhabitants), England (3 million inhabitants), and Spain (7 million inhabitants), it claimed the prize of Brazil when one of its explorers sailed off course after setting off for Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. (Portugal had already turned down a request to finance the expedition of Christopher Columbus, who then took his request to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain):  Continue reading

The Waif of Ruimveldt – A Folk Tale – By Peter Halder

THE WAIF OF RUIMVELDT … A FOLK TALE

By  Peter Halder                      

The Waif

            He appeared from nowhere and disappeared to nowhere.
He appeared to be a child, no taller than four feet and thin.

He appeared suddenly one morning on the wide path along the cane fields on the southern side of the trench separating the Laing Avenue apartments, from the sugar cane fields at Ruimveldt.         The Waif of Ruimveldt, as he came to be known, was dark skinned, had black curly hair and a round face with a perky nose and thin lips. He wore a green short-sleeve shirt and short green pants. They matched the color of the cane fields. He was bare feet.

            The Waif placed on the grassy ground several Monkey Apples which grew on a tree in the woods beyond the cane fields. He picked them up one by one, mashed each in his right hand and dropped the orange colored pulp and seeds on the ground forming a wide circle. Continue reading

History Provides the Blueprint – Dr Eric Williams of Trinidad/Tobago – Full Documentary video

Eric_Williams

“History Provides the Blueprint” explores the life of Dr. Eric E. Williams and the legacy of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection (EWMC).
Dr. Williams was the first Afro-Caribbean to graduate from Oxford with a Ph.D. in 1938. Author of the still controversial book “Capitalism and Slavery”, this scholar-turned-statesman became the first prime minister of the twin-island Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. His contribution in establishing a nation out of its British colonial roots, and in valuing the role of national education remain two of his many significant imprints.
The EWMC is the Anglophone Caribbean’s first-ever research library, archives and museum.
The full video’s inaugural screening on September 25, 2008 – which would have been Dr. Williams’ 97th birthday – was the highlight of the EWMC fundraising event, “Decade of Achievement: 1998 – 2008.” It was held in St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies.  See video link below:…. Continue reading

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,847 other followers

%d bloggers like this: