‘Little black boys now worse than before’

Since his hit ca­lyp­so “Lit­tle Black Boy” was re­leased 22 years ago Win­ston “Gyp­sy” Pe­ters said ‘black’ chil­dren in T&T have not changed and in fact the sit­u­a­tion is now much worse.

The chair­man of the Na­tion­al Car­ni­val Com­mis­sion’s com­ments came one day the Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley lament­ed that peo­ple of African de­scent are “not do­ing as well as we would have want­ed.”

Row­ley was speak­ing dur­ing his Eman­ci­pa­tion cel­e­bra­tion at the Diplo­mat­ic Cen­tre on Sat­ur­day.

The Prime Min­is­ter called on those in at­ten­dance and so­ci­ety to en­gage in some sober re­flec­tion.

He said, “In our na­tion to­day we need to con­front a re­al­i­ty that we can­not run away from. In a di­verse so­ci­ety, African peo­ple are not do­ing as well as we would have want­ed or ex­pect­ed. The time has come for the Afro-Trinida­di­an pop­u­la­tion to use Eman­ci­pa­tion to fo­cus and re­flect on where we are as a na­tion and why we are un­der­per­form­ing.”

Dur­ing a walk­through of the Eman­ci­pa­tion Vil­lage, Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah yes­ter­day, Pe­ters said he strong­ly be­lieves that peo­ple of African de­scent are not em­u­lat­ing the right peo­ple.

“Our African peo­ple we have no short­age of peo­ple to em­u­late but it is some­thing that start­ed long ago. I can’t even put my fin­ger on it, “ Pe­ters said.

Back in 1997, Pe­ters won the ca­lyp­so monarch with his tune, de­cry­ing the sit­u­a­tion fac­ing young black men in this coun­try and called on them to take their ed­u­ca­tion se­ri­ous­ly.

Pe­ters said par­ents are not to be blamed as the young black man has a mind of his own af­ter a cer­tain age.

He ad­mit­ted that one of his sons is in jail be­cause he want­ed to be a ban­dit.

“ I am a vic­tim of that. I have a son who do­ing crazy things and in jail right now. I brought him up well but he choose that way of life. He had the best home, the best school, he had dri­vers and peo­ple to take him wher­ev­er he want­ed to go but he grew up to be a ban­dit. What am I sup­posed to do?”

He added, “I was poor but I grew up to be ed­u­cat­ed and some­one out­stand­ing in so­ci­ety. I do that for my­self. How come the lit­tle In­di­an chil­dren are do­ing well, the Syr­i­an chil­dren are do­ing well but most black peo­ple are in­to crime and in jail?” he lament­ed.

Pe­ters urged the peo­ple of African de­scent to strive to be priv­i­leged, “If I can do it you can too.”

One of the ven­dors at the vil­lage, Ar­ti­san Phillip Arthur, 75, of Arthur’s Nov­el­ties al­so sided with Row­ley and urged the younger gen­er­a­tion to “pur­sue your goals.”

Arthur said, “Stop play­ing the fool and go to­wards pos­i­tive goals. Do not study your friends…all this vi­o­lence don’t put you any­where.”

An­oth­er ven­dor Car­olyn Forde of Ken’s Cop­per Col­lec­tions said she is very con­cerned as to where the young peo­ple of African de­scent are head­ed, “ that needs to be dis­ci­pline, re­spon­si­bil­i­ty and the self-con­trol.”

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