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June 06, 2020

Loving the rivalry Greaux wants revenge on Richards at 2021 Champs

Kyle Greaux and Jereem “The Dream” Richards are Trinidad and Tobago teammates. The 200-metre sprinters…
June 06, 2020

What is the colour of power?

I hadn’t intended to write a word; my feelings were raw and I felt that…
June 06, 2020

Power over pain Baptiste, Greaux push past the lactic

The pain associated with lactic acid build up in the muscles is all too familiar…
June 03, 2020

Do not flinch in the face of adversity

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s announcement that phase three of the reopening of the T&T…
June 03, 2020

An open letter to sport #BlackLivesMatter

Citizens across the world have mobilised to stand up for equal rights, for freedom, fairness,…
June 02, 2020

Rolf Bartolo - A man of integrity

Tributes keep pouring in for Rolf Bartolo from different quarters in Trinidad and Tobago. On…
June 01, 2020

Lewis: Sport can be key in covid19 recovery

BRIAN LEWIS, president of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC), says that sports can play a…

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Loving the rivalry Greaux wants revenge on Richards at 2021 Champs
About 15 hours ago
What is the colour of power?
About 15 hours ago
Power over pain Baptiste, Greaux push past the lactic
About 15 hours ago
Repost @nicholasleepaul 🙏🏽🇹🇹 ・・・ Soon we’ll be back. 🚴🏽‍♂️
Thursday, 04 June 2020 22:52

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On March 25, 1807, par­lia­ment in Lon­don, Eng­land, passed a law for­mal­ly abol­ish­ing the slave trade in the British Em­pire. How­ev­er, slav­ery didn't end then free­dom for ex­ist­ing slaves did not come in the British ter­ri­to­ries un­til 1838.

In de­scrib­ing the Slave Route Project, www.un­ ar­tic­u­lat­ed the fol­low­ing: "Ig­no­rance or con­ceal­ment of ma­jor his­tor­i­cal events con­sti­tutes an ob­sta­cle to mu­tu­al un­der­stand­ing, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and co­op­er­a­tion among peo­ples."

UN­ESCO (Unit­ed Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tion­al, Sci­en­tif­ic and Cul­tur­al Or­gan­i­sa­tion) has thus de­cid­ed to break the si­lence sur­round­ing the slave trade and slav­ery that have con­cerned all con­ti­nents and caused the great up­heavals that have shaped our mod­ern so­ci­eties.

Launched in 1994 in Ouidah, Benin, on a pro­pos­al from Haiti, the "Slave Route Project: Re­sis­tance, Lib­er­ty, Her­itage”, pur­sues the fol­low­ing ob­jec­tives:

- Con­tribute to a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the caus­es, forms of op­er­a­tion, stakes and con­se­quences of slav­ery in the world (Africa, Eu­rope, the Amer­i­c­as, the Caribbean, the In­di­an Ocean, Mid­dle East and Asia);

- High­light the glob­al trans­for­ma­tions and cul­tur­al in­ter­ac­tions that have re­sult­ed from this his­to­ry;

- Con­tribute to a cul­ture of peace by pro­mot­ing re­flec­tion on cul­tur­al plu­ral­ism, in­ter­cul­tur­al di­a­logue and the con­struc­tion of new iden­ti­ties and cit­i­zen­ships.

Un­der the guid­ance of an In­ter­na­tion­al Sci­en­tif­ic Com­mit­tee, the project con­tin­ues its ac­tions as to en­cour­age new re­search in ne­glect­ed re­gions, to de­fine new ap­proach­es for the teach­ing of this his­to­ry, to elab­o­rate new guides for the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, preser­va­tion and pro­mo­tion of sites and itin­er­aries of mem­o­ry re­lat­ed to the slave trade and slav­ery, to pro­mote the con­tri­bu­tions of peo­ple of African de­scent to the con­struc­tion of con­tem­po­rary so­ci­eties and fi­nal­ly to pre­serve writ­ten archives and in­tan­gi­ble her­itage re­lat­ed to this his­to­ry.

Since 2012, new con­cep­tu­al ori­en­ta­tions have been de­vel­oped for the project and pre­sent­ed to the mem­ber states, as to take in­to ac­count the new in­ter­na­tion­al con­text. They de­fine the prin­ci­pal do­mains of ac­tion of the project in re­sponse to the ma­jor stakes of the in­ter­na­tion­al agen­da and in par­tic­u­lar the ac­tion plan of the in­ter­na­tion­al decade for peo­ple of African De­scent (2015-2024), such as:

- A mem­o­ry shared his­to­ry and her­itage;

- In­ter­cul­tur­al­i­ty, tran­scul­tur­al­i­ty and new forms of iden­ti­ty and cit­i­zen­ship;

- Hu­man rights fight against racism and dis­crim­i­na­tion, new sol­i­dar­i­ties and new hu­man­ism;

- Africa and its di­as­po­ras past and present;

- Liv­ing cul­tures and con­tem­po­rary artis­tic cre­ation (de­pic­tion and stag­ing of slav­ery);

- In­ter­cul­tur­al ed­u­ca­tion, the cul­ture of peace and in­ter­cul­tur­al di­a­logue.

There is a re­luc­tance (and that may be an over­ly eu­phemistic de­scrip­tion) to dis­cuss slav­ery, eman­ci­pa­tion, repa­tri­a­tion, abo­li­tion. In the con­text of not on­ly T&T but the British Em­pire.

Slav­ery and in­den­tured labour along with Colo­nial­ism is an as­pect of T&T his­to­ry that ought not to be shunned.

To move past slav­ery and re­lease our­selves from the men­tal, emo­tion­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal shack­les the fear - if that is what it is - of ex­am­in­ing our his­to­ry should be re­moved.

Sport in T&T has been im­pact­ed by the coun­try's his­to­ry, to what ex­tent, is a good con­ver­sa­tion to have. Such a con­ver­sa­tion may very well help iden­ti­fy the in­tan­gi­ble fac­tors hold­ing lo­cal sports back from re­al­is­ing its full po­ten­tial.

Ed­i­tor's Note:

Bri­an Lewis is the Pres­i­dent of the T&TOC Com­mit­tee and the views ex­pressed are not those of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.