When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

This question was asked by another member in a discussion, I found it to be a good question so I am putting it out to all.

Kurt Allen said that he is going to tackle RACE in his next song, another member mention that if PanTrinbago had East Indians and Serians in it  the Headquarters would have long been finished.

I think the time has come to put the RACE card on the table, I know when Trini have to deal with this topic they close up like "tee-ma-wee" but lets get it out of the way.

If I had to answer this question off the bat I would say that other cultures realize that there is no money to be made from it, plus they have leaders telling them it is better to beat the books. but nobody ask meh so I"ll just  shut meh mouth.

This could be contributing factor in the downward spiral of the Steelband.

Views: 1922

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


I appreciate your contribution to this discussion. Meaningful change will only come when we get over the fear of speaking about ourselves  because we know that we have to take some of the blame for our situation.

Having lived a few decades I see where Afro people are still experiencing the after-shocks of slavery. It was not the hard work, or licks, seeing their women rape or others killed that affected the slaves, what did the most damage to them as a people was having some work in the house, this separation created the house nigger, field nigger syndrome.  Today we are still seeing the negative impact this have on our people.

Indians, Syrians, Lebanese and Chinese have a strong sense of loyalty to family which is the most important ingredient to their success.

Blacks on the other hand don't like to see one another prosper, it is one of the factors that is getting in the way of us moving forward.

In the mean time we still have to sing "we shall overcome some day"

Kathleen I see my self as both: A Trinidadian of African descent (culture, heritage, etc.) Why would you have a problem with that? So, as "Trinis" we should give up our past? Should I force my US born kids to not consider themselves Trini-Americans, and only Americans, and forget their past cultures? I ensured that my kids are proud of ALL of the components that make them who they are! Period. Finally, PLEASE provide the evidence as to your claims of the numerous "Trinis" of Indian descent (do you hate that as well?) that contributed to the steelband movement, i.e. who, when, where, what they did, where we can find the proof of your claims, etc. Again, believe what you wish, but the EVIDENCE shows that "Trinis" of Indian descent were NEVER any major part of the steelbands, from the early days up to the present time. And that fact is also captured in photos and film for ALL to see. Sorry; I too wish they were more involved, as I openly stated previously. And, I really would like to see more "Trinis" who look "white" (European) living in Beetham Estate and Bagatelle, before I buy into the "all ah we is one family" bogus lie. We are not, and as a "Black" "Trini" of African ancestry, I KNOW and EXPERIENCED that for a FACT. I knew the society treated me differently from as early as ten years old. Remember, I went to college and had rich, "White" classmates. And I saw how shade of skin mattered. WHO FEELS IT; KNOWS IT!!! Hotep (Peace).


Be happy to, Ronny. Where do I find the "FACTS" that "99.5%...are from small islands"? What is the total population of those areas, seeing that you know the "FACTS", and how does it break down by race and nationality. Are you saying that only .5% are Trinidad and Tobago citizens, and did ANY of them vote for the PP/UNC? Finally, how do you equate the topic of "race" with the topic of "political affiliation"? Are you saying that Afro-Trinbagonians don't vote for any other "race"? Or, that being a PNM means you are of African descent? Are children born in Trinidad and Tobago of "small island" parents, to be considered "citizens"? And, if they can still be considered "small island" people, because of the land of their parents, then why is it not okay for children born of African great-grandparents to be considered African? I'm from Trinidad, and my daughter was born in America while I was still an "illegal alien". Guess what, she is a Citizen of the United States of America. Enough with the "small island" talk; Trinidad is a dot on the globe, and we are also a "small island". I agree that immigration laws need to be respected, but in Laventille, we are FAR REMOVED from "small islands". Trinidad also has issues with Chinese illegal immigrants; which political party is responsible for that "voter padding"?


Ronny Lewis, you apparently are very uncertain about your history and using Dr. Eric Williams as a person who brought in small Islanders for votes. You obviously are not familiar with the politics of the  50's. research Albert Gomes and the era of his rule. Also do research on the colonial rule and the poverty Trinidadians endured.Dr. Williams experienced Racialism in England as a University Student.How long before Dr.Williams rule in 1956 was Uriah 'Buzz" Butler around, he was a Grenadian. Grenadians came to Trinidad because of the economy as far back as the 30's, They settled in the Point Fortin and La Brea areas. Do you remember 'Shanti Town"? I grew up up Oxford Street and i never met a grenadian, Bajan yes. I do not think that your facts are accurate, I was there i am sure i can educate you about many things that you are not familiar with.


I really think you missed my point. I'm a Trinidadian first.  I, like a lot of Trinidadians have several different ethnic groups in my family - African, East Indian, Indonesian, Caucasian and Lord knows what else.  Am I supposed to deny this fact?  I'm a black strong Trini/Caribbean woman.  I learnt the hard way from my "black american brothers and sisters" that we as Africans are not all black.  I was told back in 1975 by black americans that Caribbean blacks were not really black.  Last time I looked I thought we were !!!   I also have American born children in my family and we teach them not just the American way culturally but also expose them to our Trini/Caribbean culture.  A person who travels and learns about other cultures has a much better understanding of the world and how it works.

I certainly do not have a problem with you and how you define yourself.  I NEVER said that we should give up our past, it has made us who we are.  I'm not saying we should forget our ancestral cultures.  As I mentioned, enslavement and colonialism tried to take that away from us.  They took our drums and our music because they were threatened by our ability to communicate without words.  They destroyed our families and tore children from their parents in order to break and conquer us.  I simply was pointing out the fact that when various peoples come together, over a period of time, the way we as Africans and East indians did, a new culture is almost guaranteed to be developed. 

I NEVER stated that East Indians played a major role when it came to steelbands.  African families had problems allowing their children to be around the pan so I can just imagine what a little Indian boy would have faced.  Some of them did try to become involved but there's a distinction between a major role and being on the peripheral of the pan movement which is where most of the few who dared were. My father, a black man, told me that there was a room for me in St. Anns when at age 14 I asked to join a band and learn to play pan.

We will always have racism and intolerance in this world -  I do not live with blinders on.  The first time someone called me the "N" word, I was in Florida in the US, so I also know what it's like to have someone try to diminish me as a human being.  I endured a lot of crap from Americans at large both white and black.  Having to teach my children about the evil that racism can do to demoralize and belittle them is no easy feat but it has to be done.  We've taught them how to love and respect themselves and build strong characters in spite of the fact that others don't see them for who they are but hate them because of the color of their skin.  Remember that even within the black community there are distinctions made - we are just as guilty sometimes. 

I'm not saying that we must create a Utopia in T&T, that's impossible to do but with some tolerance we can live and let live.  Hopefully, we can move forward and try building a better society for the generations to come.      

Kathleen, I am with you here. Well said.

Where are the Africans in Central? http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Rape__incest_rampant_in_Central...

Should I assume that ALL "Trinis" (who look like Indians from India) in Central are rapists and pedophiles? Should you assume all "Trinis" (who look like Africans from Africa) in Laventille, Beetham and Sea Lots are murderers and gang members? Can you see how that works? END RACIAL PROFILING!!!


sometimes I dont understand what you guys are saying in the  40's and early 50's blacks owned all the businesses in tnt

TAILORS, SHOEMAKERS, TINSMITHS, CABINET MAKERS, CAPINTERS, Waw Wae "playway" and a host of other small businesses we owned a large racing pool . WHAT happened when and how did things change, during that time eastindians were extracting the sugarcanes. how about dat folks

Aldwyn, I think I might be able to help you with the when and how things change. During the time the Indians were extracting the sugarcane they were sending their children abroad to study, those children came back to T&T as doctors, lawyers and other professional people, maybe you could tell us what happen to the black tinsmith, shoemaker and tailors. 

Some of us still don't seem to understand that education is the key.  It's the biggest most lucrative investment you can ever make.  Most of the artisans of yester year are gone.  It's a totally different world and we must accept the changes and move forward.  Today even elderly people had better learn how to use technology otherwise crappo smoke yuh pipe.

Words of wisdom Kathleen.

It should also be noted that at no time in the history carnival there have been more involvment of Indian women like the present, this help to make carnival the mega business for mas bands it is today.


© 2019   Created by When Steel Talks.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service