The celebration ofAfrican History Month in Ile Ananani/Ile Iere/Trinidad ati Ile Aloubera/Tobago – Republic Trinidad & Tobago have been growing both in significance and popularity over the past few years. This has been a cause for happiness here for us at Egbe Onisin Eledumare.
This year in particular persons have been inquiring as to the origins of the celebrations and this is an attempt to add additional information on the issue of origins of this event here.
Like many events that were not immediately documented when they were coming into being, when the time to recall what actually took place, there may be several accounts,many being given from the bias and perspective of the informant.This may be one such account.It has however in the African tradition not been the practice to limit the account to only one version or account.So there may be others with additional information coming from other quarters who may wish to add their perspectives as to it’s origins. Very recently Agba Aiyegoro Ome wrote on Facebook giving his perspective where he credited the rise and influence of the Black Power movement and Chief Servant Makandal Daaga and NJAC in particular for being a major source of inspiring the manifestation of this event.
Here is another narrative.At a most recent conversation with Maureen Thompson – writer and publicist, who I know to be among those engaged in the formative stage of the celebrations, she recounted that she had returned from London in 1985 and was on her journey of self discovery of her self. Maureen recalls that Club L’Ouverture then celebrated Black History Week in October. She had some discussions both with Club L’Ouverture and Iyalorisa Sangowumi -Janice Patricia McLeod where in her recall the suggestion of African History Month was raised. She further had discussions with Asha Kambon, where she gained support and the month was launched. She further suggested that there was an Evening News article recording the launch of African History Month. In our discussions she acknowledged that she may have been unaware of all the parties and other interest groups,organizations and individuals that may have been taking similar and or parallel action at the time.
In other articles printed on this site we have named a few persons who we know contributed to this materialization of what is known as African History Month.
In her recall Maureen, recounts the rationale for selecting November as the month of highlight for this celebration. She recalls: ” We ( Asha Kambon and Maureen Thompson) reckoned that February the month in which African Americans celebrated Black History Month would not be appropriate for Trinidad & Tobago.” Maureen then recalls that the line of reasoning took into consideration Carnival events and activities and their checking of the calendars of activities in our islands suggested that November would be a most appropriate month.
After the grand launch of African History Month it event was the carried in the main by organizations led by Iyalorisa Sangowumi -Janice Patricia McLeod and Oloye Orawale Oranfe also known then as Oludari.
Today many persons join with Egbe Onisin Eledumare by posting on Facebook relevant educational and current material on African affairs and history.
Agba Aiyegoro Ome has a radio broadcast for the period.
It is indeed fulfilling to seethe celebration gaining more respect and appreciation in our community.
The Administrators of this site join with Agba Aiyegoro Ome and the current Political Leader of NJAC Kwasi Mutewa in recognizing the role, influence and impact that the 1970 Black Power Uprising have had on the birthing of this celebration.We acknowledge all of our positive culture heroes and we demand of ourselves the strength and power to improve upon the present manifestation of this month of activities.