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.”