African History Month in Trinidad and Tobago: Preserving Heritage, Fostering Change
December 1, 2023

As the final days of November unfold in Trinidad and Tobago, the resonance of African History Month continues to reverberate, guiding us through a month of profound reflection on the history of the African diaspora.

The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago takes pride in spotlighting some of the initiatives led by the Success Laventille Networking Committee, one of the many grassroots organisations with which we are closely aligned. Their commendable efforts aim to preserve African culture and tradition in the East Port of Spain area while uplifting the lives of its residents. This endeavour, rooted in the spiritual and cultural connections of our ancestors, seeks to bring about positive change.

On November 29th, the Success Laventille Networking Committee, alongside the East Port of Spain Council of Community Organisations, will strategise for positive outcomes in their communities. Drawing from African knowledge systems and ancient technologies, these discussions will lay the foundation for broader initiatives. A summit, hosted in collaboration with Ile Egbe Yemoja, will follow, addressing the demand for reparations and reparatory justice. This Yoruba Summit, at a date to be determined, aims to engage the wider communities of Trinidad and Tobago, presenting themes on the International Decade for People of African Descent.

Beyond addressing historical injustices, the Yoruba Summit endeavours to place Yoruba Village firmly on the national agenda. It promises to be a dynamic forum for reflection and dialogue, contemplating how traditional African cultural systems can contribute materially, morally, and in other ways to the development of our society.

Additionally, on November 30th, the Laventille Rhythm Section will host a lecture on Iwa (meaning character) in the band room at the corner of Marcella Street and Bertie Marshall Boulevard in Laventille. The discussion will explore the importance of developing good character for the advancement of African people in navigating the complexities of modern time and space. Members of the Egbe Onisin Eledumare shrine from Petit Valley, who are deeply involved and invested in culture, particularly elements of African spirituality, will be present to support this initiative.

Even in these final days of African History Month, the National Trust stands in solidarity, offering unwavering support to initiatives that underscore the profound impact of the African experience. The preservation of both tangible and intangible cultural elements stands as enduring testament to the strength and endurance of our people.

As we celebrate, let us not only reflect on our past but actively participate in shaping our future. Through the preservation of cultural practices, the retelling of stories, and engagement in initiatives aimed at maintaining our heritage and remembering our past, we bear witness to the indomitable strength and cultural richness of the African heritage in Trinidad and Tobago.

Picture of Members of the Success Laventille Networking Committee and members of the National Trust at Mille Fleurs.

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