Saturday, August 1, 2015

Freedom Morn Come: Preparing for #Reparations #LettersToLizzie

Dear Lizzie,
Emancipation Morn and the drum rolls herald freedom that I celebrate in prose and in verse.
I praise you. Dear Lizze,
You taught me language; and my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!
               The Tempest I:2:517,William Shakespeare

And so Shakespeare begat an Oxford Circus, Tharoor, Dalrymple, Rihanna and Nikki Minaj-Maharaj too, who speak in forked tongues with the language in which you taught us to curse, to profit, to prophesy and sing our anthem of freedom, liberation and independence.

The forces gather across the once-Empire and the red plague descends whether in anger or in satire; in prose or in verse. All that was torn asunder now come together.
The palace walls become a prison unable to contain yet its accumulated history of loot. Where, now shall we run or hide from this deafening chorus reaching its crescendo rocking the palace-prison walls of the once-Empire from the once-Empire to erupt in volcano of post-coup street violence in a war for peace in Laventille.
And even in Independence, the desecration continues; a sacriligious bulldozing of bones of cemetery in which slaves interrred, not a virtual reality, but adds  to tale of torture, massacre and disrespect.
In the language of WestMinster from Las Casas to Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln to Arthur Haley, Malcolm X to Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi to Narendra Modi, CLR James to Norman Girvan, Bob Marley to Matabaruka, Arthur Lewis to FEM Hosein, VS Naipaul to Derek Walcott, Eric Williams' capitalism and slavery and Simbhoonath Capildeo, Satyajit Ray to Forest Whitaker, Bhadase Seetahal Maharaj to Lloyd Best, The Mighty Sparrow to Sundar Popo, Chookolingo to Dana Seetahal, Moari, Mohicans, Incas, Mayas, Taino, Lucayans, and the C Monologues.
More coming soon in #LettersToLizzie @krisramp @lolleaves @glocalpot #Demokrissy #LeavesOfLive #LeavesOfLife #Glocalknowledgepot #CaribbeanLiterarySalon

Related Links:
Shame of Slavery
Callaloo: The Melting Pot
The World In a Fishbowl
Vandalised Centuries Old Tomb
Dem Red House Bones


From The Tempest: William Shakespeare
Miranda:
Aborrèd slave,
Which any print of goodness wilt not take,
Being capable of all ill! I pitied thee,
Took pains to make thee speak, taught thee each hour
One thing or other. When thou didst not, savage,
Know thine own meaning, but wouldst gabble like
A thing most brutish, I endowed thy purposes
With words that made them known. But thy vile race,
Though thou didst learn, had that in ’t which good natures
Could not abide to be with. Therefore wast thou
Deservedly confined into this rock,
Who hadst deserved more than a prison

Caliban
You taught me language, and my profit on ’t
Is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you
For learning me your language!



https://www.facebook.com/virtualmuseum.oftrinidadandtobago/posts/848820528535917

WORD HAS REACHED ME THAT THE HISTORIC TOMB OF SLAVEOWNER LOUIS BICAIS AND THE NEARBY SLAVE CEMETERY LOCATED AT RAMBERT VILLAGE NEAR SAN FERNANDO AND THE LAST OF THE ANCIENT LA RESSOURCE ESTATE HAVE BEEN DESTROYED BY A DEVELOPER TODAY....THIS HERITAGE SITE WAS FEATURED IN A SHORT SERIES ON CNC3 AND WAS THE SUBJECT OF MUCH MATERIAL FOR A BOOK BY FR. ANTHONY DE VERTEUIL TITLED "THE BLACK EARTH OF SOUTH NAPARIMA". WORD IS THAT BONES ARE SCATTERED ALL OVER THE SITE, THESE BEING THE REMAINS OF OUR ENSLAVED ANCESTORS WHICH ARE NOW TRAMPLED BY THE GREED OF A PRIVATE DEVELOPER.
On the end of a quiet suburban street off Dumfries Rd. is the ruined tomb of the slaveonwe, Louis Bicaise. Hewas a coloured planter from St. Vincent who came to Trinidad around 1805 and married into the Rambert family, one of the wealthiest coloured families in the Naparimas. He was supposed to have been a cruel slave master who broke his slaves with floggings and irons. His estate of La Ressource was one of the most enviable in the Naparimas. The impending issue of emancipation spelled ruin for La Ressource Estate which was heavily in debt. Left with few prospects of succor, Louis took ill. His last will and testament divided what was left of his property among his children He died in 1838 and was buried on a hill on his estate. The grave was a simple one, made of Scottish firebricks which were imported into the colony as ballast in the holds of sugar ships. His wife was buried there in 1868 and his last surviving son, Charles, in 1882. The marble epitaph was inscribed by Antoine Scammaroni of the Colonial Civil Service and read:
LOUIS BICAISE
NATIF DE SAINT VINCENT
DECEDEE A LA TRINIDAD LE 13 SEPTEMBRE 1838
A L’AGE DE 62 ANS
IL FAUT BON FILS , BON PERE
BON FRERE, BON PARENT & BON AMI
LES EXCELLENTS QUALITES DE SON COEUR
LE FONT REGRETTER PAR TOUS CEUX QUI CONNURENT
(Louis Bicaise, native of St. Vincent. Died in Trinidad on 13th September 1838 at the age of 62. He was a good son, good father, good brother , good kinsman and good friend. His big-heartedness has left him regretted by all those who knew him)
Legend has it that the tomb once sported a stone urn which even in the most arid of dry seasons, always contained clear, cold water. This was once a main source of the precious fluid to inhabitants of the area. A slope near the grave is allegedly the spot where the slaves of La Ressource were interred since several sources tell of homage being paid to unmarked graves there at All Saints’

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20150621/features/the-bones-of-our-ancestors

The bones of our ancestors

Conservationists outraged as ancient burial site unearthed

  • Published on Jun 21, 2015, 3:20 pm AST
  • By Richard Charan

Human bones unearthed by a bulldozer clearing land at Rambert Village, near San Fernando. Photo: Dexter Phillip

A human bone exumed by excavators clearing land at Rambert Village near San Fernando. Photo: Dexter Phillip

A mound containing human bones on ar Rambert Village, San Fernando. PHoto: Dexter Phillip

Photographer Dexter Philip photographs the grave of 19th century splantation owner Louis Bicaise, located on a hilltop at Rambert Village, near San Fernando

THE teeth belonged to someone who survived childhood. Still attached to the lower jawbone, the molars show signs of a hard life; deep cavities, worn enamel, gum disease. The jaw was part of the skull and skeleton unearth and dismembered by a bulldozer carving land near San Fernando for Trinidad's insatiable need for housing. The bulldozer would go on to expose the bones of an unknown number of people, likely African slaves, who lived and died on the La Ressource sugar estate, near San Fernando in the 1800s.
The bones were exposed two weeks ago. People who care about the country's history have been outraged by the desecration. The police say they can't do much about it. The land belongs to a private developer with the right to do whatever he pleases. The bones were still there up to yesterday. Ribs, tibias, femurs, casket handles, coffin nails, strewn about the clay exposed by the earthmovers. Recent rains have exposed more.
No one knows for sure what should or can be done. And if you think none of this is important, consider this.

BORN in the year 1776, in St Vincent, French creole slave supplier Louis Bicaise sailed to Trinidad at age 34, and married into the Scottish Rambert family, then one of the wealthiest in the fertile Naparimas in south Trinidad.
With his brother in law, Bicaise established the La Ressource Estate, and settled there with wife and children. In a short time he would become the sole owner of a prosperous plantation, enriched by the sweat and blood of the slaves that he bought and sold to surrounding plantations, including neighbouring Palmiste.
A son, John Nelson Bicaise, would go on to become the only known West Indian slave trader, who made a fortune from the misery that was the trade in human beings, dealing from his station on the bank of the Rio Nunez, on Africa' West Coast in what is now the country of Guineau. The son would end up dying penniless and diseased, and was buried in Africa, having lost contact with his Trinidad family, whose estate suffered similar misfortune.
The La Ressource estate was ruined as a result of the issues related to Emancipation, and Louis Bicaise would have to mortgage his plantation to an English merchant. In 1838, the year African slaves won full freedom, Bicaise died, leaving a wife, ten children, and the estate in debt.
His body was entombed on a hilltop overlooking the estate, flanked on the east by a cemetery containing the remains of slaves and others who worked the plantation. Bicaise's wife Marie Rose Rambert, would also be buried on the hill thirty years later, and his last surviving son, Charles in 1882.
A marble epitat inscribed in French on Bicaise's grave read:
Louis Bicaise
Natif De Saint Vincent
Decedee A La Trinidad Le 13 Septembre 1838
A L'age De 62 Ans
Il Faut Bon Fils , Bon Pere
Bon Frere, Bon Parent & Bon Ami
Les Excellents Qualites De Son Coeur
Le Font Regretter Par Tous Ceux Qui Connurent

Translation - Louis Bicaise, native of St. Vincent. Died in Trinidad on 13th September 1838 at the age of 62. He was a good son, good father, good brother, good kinsman and good friend. His big-heartedness has left him regretted by all those who knew him.


When slave master/plantation owner Louis Bicaise died, he was buried on this hillock overlooking the slave cemetery at Rambert Village near San Fernando. This is what remains of his tomb and that of his wife and son.

We know all of this because of the research of famed historian Fr Anthony De Verteuil, who with Belgian Chris-Arthur De Wilde, wrote about the Bicaise family in the book The Black Earth of South Naparima, and the work of historian/writer Angelo Bissessarsingh who, in his book Walking with the Ancestors, wrote about what remains of the Bicaise family tomb (the marble since broken up and inscriptions stolen), and of the slave cemetery (where up to the 1960s, the descendants still came to pay homage). Evidence of the Bicaise tombs can still be found, if you take that trip off Dumfries Road, Rambert Villave pull back the bushes and look for the Scottish firebricks (imported as a ballast in the holds of European sugar ships) which mark the burials, now surrounded by excavated land.
It was left up to Bissessarsingh, on his popular Facebook page Virtual Museum of Trinidad and Tobagothree Saturdays ago, to alert conservationists about what had happened to the site. People wanted to know, where was the African Emancipation Committee? Didn't anyone at least understand the anthropological importance of what was being lost? By then, it was too late. The police did visit. The District Medical Officer was called in. He knew immediately that the bones belong to people who lived a long, long time ago.
Divisional Commander of the Southern Division Senior Superintendent Irwin Hackshaw said historical sites were not the responsibility of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, but that his officers had responded to the report of an ancient burial site at Rambert Village, San Fernando, being desecrated. He said officers visited the site and contacted the relevant authorities. The items recovered, which included skeletal remains, were handed over to archaeologists, he said.


One June 6, 2015 a bulldozer clearing land for a housing development at Rambert Village near San Fernando, unearth what historians believe was a cemetery for slaves who lived and died on the La Ressource Estate, owned by French creole planter Louis Bicaise. The bones of the buried were strewn across the land.
The rest of the bones are scattered on the hillside, where more than seven feet of soil has been removed in some places. Crime scene tape was pulled across a mound of earth that was not yet excavated by the bulldozer. The Express later attempted to contact (by email and telephone) company said to be developing the land. There was never a response.
“There is nothing we can do really. When we get a report we can contact the relevant people. That is it,” Hacksaw said.
No one is more disturbed by it all, than chairman of the National Trust Professor Winston Suite, who has followed the events at Rambert Village, with despair.
This was one of the most famous estates in south Trinidad and important to understanding how the country had developed to this point, he said. Yet too many people saw nothing wrong with destroying such a site, and now it was likely too late. Yes, Town and Country gave permission, but does it mean that one should go ahead and do whatever one wants at the expense of our national heritage? What's happening in the country? He asked. An absence of education. Maybe it was time to introduce history as a subject in the primary school curriculum. If people only knew, said Suite, they would probably attach more importance to things dating from the time when our ancestors were indentured or enslaved.



The Price of Independence:#DanaSeetahalAssassination


Oct 20, 2013 Choosing the Emperor's New Troops. The dilemma of choice. Voting is supposed to be an exercise in thoughtful, studied choice. Local government is the foundation for good governance so even if one wants to reform the ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 07, 2013 Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. So we've had the rounds of consultations on Constitutional Reform? Are we any wiser? Do we have a sense of direction that will drive ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 30, 2013 Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2....http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
See Also:
Jul 30, 2013 Wherever these breezes have passed, they have left in their wake wide ranging social and political changes: one the one hand toppling long time leaders with rising decibels from previously suppressed peoples demanding a ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 25, 2013 Some 50 percent did not vote. The local government elections results lends further proof of the discussion began in Clash of Political Cultures: Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago in Through The ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 14, 2013 They are announcing some political meeting or the other; and begging for my vote, and meh road still aint fix though I hear all parts getting box drains and thing, so I vex. So peeps, you know I am a sceptic so help me decide. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jun 15, 2010 T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian · T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 8:20 AM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Related:
Apr 30, 2010 'How we vote is not how we party.' At 'all inclusive' fetes and other forums, we nod in inebriated wisdom to calypsonian David Rudder's elucidation of the paradoxical political vs. social realities of Trinidad and Tobago. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 29, 2013 An indication that unless we devise innovative ways to address representation of our diversity, we will find ourselves in various forms of deadlock at the polls that throw us into a spiral of political tug of war albeit with not just ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 16, 2013 Sheilah was clearly and sharply articulating the deficiencies in governmesaw her: a tinymite elderly woman, gracefully wrinkled, deeply over with concerns about political and institutional stagnation but brimming over with ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 21, 2013 Ain't Trini politics d BEST! Nobody fighting because they lose. All parties claiming victory, all voting citizens won! That's what make we Carnival d best street party in the world. Everyone are winners because we all like ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jan 09, 2012 New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. Posted by Kris Rampersad ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 20, 2013 Choosing the Emperor's New Troops. The dilemma of choice. Voting is supposed to be an exercise in thoughtful, studied choice. Local government is the foundation for good governance so even if one wants to reform the ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 07, 2013 Old Casked Rum: The Emperor's New Tools#1 - Towards Constitutional Reform in T&T. So we've had the rounds of consultations on Constitutional Reform? Are we any wiser? Do we have a sense of direction that will drive ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Apr 30, 2013 Valuing Carnival The Emperor's New Tools#2....http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
See Also:
Jul 30, 2013 Wherever these breezes have passed, they have left in their wake wide ranging social and political changes: one the one hand toppling long time leaders with rising decibels from previously suppressed peoples demanding a ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 25, 2013 Some 50 percent did not vote. The local government elections results lends further proof of the discussion began in Clash of Political Cultures: Cultural Diversity and Minority Politics in Trinidad and Tobago in Through The ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 14, 2013 They are announcing some political meeting or the other; and begging for my vote, and meh road still aint fix though I hear all parts getting box drains and thing, so I vex. So peeps, you know I am a sceptic so help me decide. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jun 15, 2010 T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian · T&T Constitution the culprit | The Trinidad Guardian. Posted by Kris Rampersad at 8:20 AM · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Related:
Apr 30, 2010 'How we vote is not how we party.' At 'all inclusive' fetes and other forums, we nod in inebriated wisdom to calypsonian David Rudder's elucidation of the paradoxical political vs. social realities of Trinidad and Tobago. http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 29, 2013 An indication that unless we devise innovative ways to address representation of our diversity, we will find ourselves in various forms of deadlock at the polls that throw us into a spiral of political tug of war albeit with not just ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 16, 2013 Sheilah was clearly and sharply articulating the deficiencies in governmesaw her: a tinymite elderly woman, gracefully wrinkled, deeply over with concerns about political and institutional stagnation but brimming over with ... http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Oct 21, 2013 Ain't Trini politics d BEST! Nobody fighting because they lose. All parties claiming victory, all voting citizens won! That's what make we Carnival d best street party in the world. Everyone are winners because we all like ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/
Jan 09, 2012 New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. New Media, New Civil Society, and Politics in a New Age | The Communication Initiative Network. Posted by Kris Rampersad ...http://kris-rampersad.blogspot.com/