At an event to commemorate, mark and celebrate the repeal of the Shouter Prohibition Ordinance Trinidad 1917 organized by Dr. Leah Brown Assistant Professor Voice Soprano The Academy for Performing Arts UTT.
Republic Trinidad & Tobago has a history of forced migration of African peoples from their homeland continent – Alkebu-lan . This continent was called by the Greeks Africa which has now been the more frequent nomenclature of use by many worldwide today .
In the 1400’s and beyond Europeans with a quest for discovering trade routes to the “East” began trade journeys sanctioned,supported and in many instances sponsored by European Monarchs as they vied for land,sea routes and trade routes on both land and sea.
Cristobal Colon allegedly a Genoa/Italian navigator/explorer approached Queen Isabella I of Castile and Leon. Leon is a polity related to modern day Austria.these early journeys that
He was successful in receiving the patronage of the Crown of Spain to fund and finance his journeys to the “New World” and capture and steal m\lands in the name and authority of the monarchy.
The “spoils/gains” of these voyages enabled Queen Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Aragon to clear the debts of their country and to become the first major global power of European origin.
It was these early explorations that culminated in the infamous “trans Atlantic slave trade”, where traffic and sale of human beings became a norm especially as it related to people of African origin.
Africans that were victims of their capture and “sale” became property in white controlled societies. We provided the labour and the construction skill that built the infrastructure on the plantations to which we were brought.
Africans that landed in these plantations had to be “converted” to Christianity.
As part of the survival mechanism and option, some Alkebu-lanese/Africans accepted the offer of life temporarily tainted by slavery and forced spiritual conversion.
Many new paradigms and forms of spiritual engagement with the Cosmos emerged.
Among these manifestations of survival was the Spiritual Baptist paradigm.
As a people subjected to oppression we selected “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY”
In Trinidad especially where over time the ethnic and racial mix brought people from at least four continents together, the opportunity for formulating and fashioning a paradigm of spiritual expression peculiar to our circumstances emerged.
Some took up the challenge with the hope to returning to their original paradigm. Alas for many the die was cast. The intermediate became the permanent. The masking became the reality and many forgot the ways of their ANCESTORS and even began persecuting their family for remaining true to their homeland paradigms. Spiritual Baptists however were also genuinely seeking TOTAL AND UNCONDITIONAL LIBERATION and as a consequence led particular after the Emancipation proclamation in movements aimed at bringing social justice for our people.
On the 30th March, 1951, the unjust and infamous Shouter Prohibition Ordinance Trinidad 1917 was repealed. It took another seventy nine years for a day of National recognition to be granted to the Spiritual Baptist Shouter community during the stewardship of government led by Prime Minister Basdeo Panday and the United National Congress(UNC).
The skillful engagement by Archbishop Barbara Gray-Burke and Archbishop Percival Mejias into the ranks of the UNC I am sure expedited the manifestation of the holiday and day of National recognition by the government and State of Republic Trinidad & Tobago.
T o be continued
Photograps for this articel provided by Jawanza Tar Woba