Dr. Kwame Nantambu

Emancipation Carnival Monday 2k5

"Mass, play mass; mass in yuh mass, play mass"

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
September 08, 2005

Now that the brief euphoria and one-ah-day-Afrikan Emancipation carnival Monday festivities (sans bikinis, thongs, winnin, "put yuh hands in ah de air" antics) are over, these vital and appropriate questions must be asked:

1. During the period 2 August 2005 to 31 July 2006, what clothes are these thousands of Afrikan-Trinbagonians wearing?

2. Who are the Gods they are praying to and worshiping, how and where?

3. What is the historical-ancestral identity and daily way of life of these Trinbagonians?

The fact of the matter is that Afrikan-Trinbagonians were totally powerless on carnival Monday and Tuesday during February 2005; they suffered from the same historical sclerosis on Emancipation carnival Monday August 2k5.

Let us recall that in the 15th century A.D., Afrikan Tribal Chiefs received gold trinkets, alcohol, guns, etc, from Europeans to sell their own people into slavery.

Today, the quid pro quo their descendents, aka chieftains of the Emancipation Sellout Committee (ESC), receive from TnT's neo-colonial central government for continuing to perform that very same function is called a subvention. Venta Completa Continua.

Nevertheless, in the name, honour and defence of our powerful ancestors who built the pyramids and educated, civilized and humanized the powerless Europeans in the B.C. era, these afore-mentioned descendents must be exposed and be subjected to historical "line-up" detection.

Indeed, contrary to well-orchestrated media pronouncements and unfettered propaganda, these centuries-old interlocutory, parsimonious "chains" have neither been "broken" nor discarded; in fact, these "connections" have been re-discovered to be "unbroken" and alive and kicking in TnT. Venta Completa Continua.

Ironically, the more things change (as in European colonialism), the more they remain the same (as in Afrikan colonialism, neo-colonialism or American re-colonialization).

Afrikan-Trinbagonians have been "bamboozled, hoodwinked and took" by the ESC and as a result, Emancipation carnival Monday August 2k5 spoke volumes as to the reality that they are historically and ancestrally detoured, dis-located, anesthetized and culturally comatose.

On Indian Arrival Day, 30 May 2005, the descendents of the indentured workers/labour immigrants are Indians. They are Indians 24-7-365, from 31 May 2005 to 29 May 2006. These Indians pray to and worship Gods who not only look like them but also have original Indian names.

Indian-Trinbagonians are historically, ancestrally, culturally, linguistically and religiously located, directed and grounded. Their Mother Land umbilical cord has not been severed. It remains solidly intact, protected and promulgated by diverse Indian organizations (both national and international), academic institutions, political entities and NGOs.

On the other hand, Afrikans are the only people on this planet who pray to and worship Gods who do not look like them nor have original Afrikan names.

In this regard, Malcolm X is perfectly correct when he concludes that "the problem with Black people is that we left our mind in Afrika."

The ESC, as paramount chief bandleader of Emancipation carnival Monday festivities, is not the mechanism for Afrikan-Trinbagonians to retrieve their mind from Mother Afrika. ESC is the problem.

The sad tragedy is that the internalization of Afrikanness by Afrikan-Trinbagonians will continue to "remain a fleeting illusion to be pursued but never attained" as long as the current "Black Skins, White Masks" bandleaders in the ESC are the MCs who run the show(as in charade).

"Every where is":
"Mass, play mass
Mass in yuh mass
Play mass
Even doh ah feeling home-sick
Even doh ah tired roam
Gey meh meh calypso music
(Afrika ent) meh home"
On Emancipation carnival Monday 2k5, every one "had a good, good time", although this writer did not see anybody wine!.

The onlookers who lined the parade route of the bands up to the customary competition site at the European-British-colonial Queen's Park Savannah also "had a good, good time" as they watched Afrikan-Trinbagonians revelers decked out in their splendidly colourful and very expensive Afrikan outfits. They bought these outfits from Syrian-Trinbagonian businessman Jimmy Aboud, "the textile king."

Jimmy Aboud made a mint of money during TnT's earlier carnival season; he probably surpassed that amount in the August Emancipation carnival season.

His prime customers who shelled out all those vast amounts of money were the same then and now. Syrian-Trinbagonian businessman Jimmy Aboud went laughing all the way to the bank during these two carnival seasons, while those dis-located, dis-oriented and mis-directed Afrikan-Trinbagonians went winnin and parading all the way to the "land of left behind"--- and they are still there.

These onlookers were just duplicating the annual ritual they performed on earlier carnival days. Their mind-set and mentality were and are the same. The only marked difference is the outfit they wear.

Emancipation carnival Monday 2k5 spectacle brought to the fore the sad, tragic truism that Afrikan-Trinbagonians are exhibiting the symptoms of the deadly diseases of Afrikan dyslexia, amnesia and atrophy. They are in serious denial along with their transient connoisseur bandleaders in the ESC.

Let the record reveal that it was a duly-elected PNM government minister of Afrikan descent who categorically resented the notion of looking like a "mook" if he were to wear an Afrikan outfit. Who is fooling whom?.

The bottom-line is that when it comes to the sustained, productive empowerment of Afrikan-Trinbagonians, the PNM government's policies are wrapped in the cacophony of mammaguy, pappyshow and congosa., 24-7-365.

And contrary to typical Trini mythology/fantasy, Emancipation is not "a path to African redemption"; in its current carnival-like organizational matrix, Emancipation is nothing but "a path" to Afrikan-Trinbagonian retrogressive progression, apathy and inertia, ad infinitum.

The reality is that Emancipation has been relegated to a massive exercise in futility that is shrouded in the swaddling clothes of political opportunism on both sides of the spectrum.

The transient powers-that-be in the ESC must recognize and realize that total liberation is the only "path to African redemption"--- not physical emancipation. To focus solely on Emancipation , as the ESC does, smacks of a very myopic, ahistorical and dysfunctional understanding and analysis of genuine Afrikan redemption and liberation.

The powers-that-be in the ESC must recognize and realize that the only potent weapon to challenge European supremacy is for Afrikans to come out as a powerful people from Mother Afrika in ancient Kemet/Egypt in the B.C. era--- the great civilizations of Ethiopia, Nubia, Ghana, Mali and Songhay notwithstanding.

This period represents 99.9 per cent of the history of Afrikan people on this planet; most importantly, during this period, Afrikans were a free, spiritual, independent, liberated and powerful people.

The transient powers-that-be in the ESC must recognize and realize that Afrikans cannot challenge European supremacy as powerless, defenceless and nothing slaves coming out of the plantations in the Diaspora in the A.D. era.

This period represents only .01 per cent of the history of Afrikan people on this planet; during this period, Afrikans were an enslaved, colonized, dependent, powerless, religious-Christian, expendable, nothing, "infidel" people.

The sad tragedy is that the entity of Afrikan consciousness in the 1970s has given rise to a scary, ubiquitous Afrikan non-entity. The mentality today is: Call me anything but Afrikan--- even "Negro", "Redman" or "Afro-Trini".

Since 1992, Afrikan-Trinbagonians can be safely diagnosed as brain-dead, brain-damaged as a result of being infected by the ESC's carnival-like Emancipation virus--- the sickness continues.

Indeed, history does repeat itself. First, there was the tragedy in the 15th century in Afrika; today, there is the farce in the Diaspora--- right here in TnT--- perpetuated by the members of the ESC. The Afrikan sellout circle in now complete.

Emancipation carnival Monday 2k5 represented a total, utter bastardization of and insult to, the torturous, dehumanizing conditions our forefathers had to endure during their prolonged enslavement.

Now is the time to delete/expunge the ubiquitous, asinine, carnival-bacchanal mentality/atmosphere from Emancipation.

Truth Be Told: TnT now has three legitimate annual carnival days--- thanks to the ESC.

Emancipation is the problem; total liberation is the only solution. For whereas Emancipation gives Afrikan-Trinbagonians a fish to feed themselves for one day (1st August), total liberation teaches Afrikan-Trinbagonians how to fish so that they can feed themselves for the rest of their lives.

In the final analysis, Emancipation carnival Monday 2k5 only represented the sweat of our forefathers; it did not reflect nor embolden their blood and tears.

Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani Labour College and UWI.

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