African History Month as commemorated and celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago is an effort by Trinbagonians of African origin and heritage to record and document the contributions of Africans to World History and to Caribbean and Trinidad & Tobago History.
There were several persons who contributed to the establishment of this observance and celebration of our contributions to World and Regional History and development.
Among some of the pioneering contributors to this commemoration were Vernon Guichard and Grafton La Borde of Club L’Ouverture.
Club L’Ouverture observed and promoted Back History Week. Several other persons then collaborated to upgrade and transform the week into a month of activities and observances. These included Patricia Sangowumi Mcleod,and Egbe Onisin Eledumare represented by its then Oludari Agbaiye Olakela Massetungi.
Egbe Onisin Eledumare concentrated on accessing schools,and visited schools at primary and secondary levels.
Much of the school projects were without the support of the Ministry of Education, but was supported by the discretion and generosity of the principals and head teachers of these schools.
Other persons that supported the move to African History Month were Maureen Thompson and Asha Kambon. As the observance gained some creditability Fitzgerald Francis of African Trophies also championed the cause.
As our country hosts Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting we hope that State recognition of African contributions to our societies would be an issue of consideration.Many of the Commonwealth nations are African.Many of them have populations of Africans with low self esteem – a result of the paucity of information that is available to their populations on the positive and progressive contributions of their ancestors.
Currently there is need for the inclusion of African History to be taught in our schools at all levels of education.
As African History Month begins its wind down in this Historic month of CHOGM we pray that government and people would take proactive steps to place us on the front burner of events and activities.
May Eledumae bless!