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Colin Powell Commemorates Trinidad and Tobago's History
televised live to the nation.
The EWMC now comprises Dr.
Williams' library and archives consisting
of over six thousand book titles and four
hundred periodical titles. Diverse in
subject matter, it reveals the multifaceted
nature of its owner. There is also a
museum and adjacent reading room.
The only entity of its kind in the
English-speaking Caribbean, it seeks to
establish a facility akin to a U. S.
Presidential Library, offering untold
benefits to the people of Trinidad and
Tobago, and those of the wider Caribbean.
As such, it provides a living legacy to the
pursuit of historical debate and analysis
through the personal library and
collections of Dr. Williams.
Plans are underway to finance a
separate, permanent residence for the
EWMC. While it will continue to be
managed under the aegis of UWI, it is
envisioned that the EWMC will assume a
role as a haven for research throughout the
Caribbean and indeed the world. It hopes
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Hon. Basdeo Panday, Erica Williams Connell, to provide state-of-the-art facilities to
Gen. Colin L. Powell (USA Ret.) in foreground; Principal &e Pro-Vice Chancellor Compton bring "history to the people and the
Bourne, Pro- Vice Chancellor Rex Nettleford in background. (Photo: Bertrand de Peaza) people to history."
T he idea of establishing an on-going
entity to explore the legacy and
scholarship of the late Dr. Eric Eustace
Williams and the times in which he lived
and worked has spanned a generation. The
Collection took root even before the
respected statesman's death on March 29,
1981. It was then that the 14-year-old
Erica Williams Connell first told her
father that she "wanted his books and
This seed bore fruit on March 22,
1998, through the tenacity of individuals,
universities and corporations the world
over, when the Eric Williams Memorial
Collection (EWMC) was inaugurated at
the Main Library of the University of the
West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, in the
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
General Colin L. Powell, (USA Ret.)
dedicated the Collection in the presence of
Trinidad and Tobago's Acting President
Ganace Ramdial, Prime Minister Basdeo
Panday, Pro-Vice Chancellor/Campus
Principal Compton Bourne (Trinidad and
Tobago), Pro-Vice Chancellor Rex
Nettleford (Jamaica), and other
distinguished guests. The ceremony was
C- The Eric Williams
MEMORYOF Memorial Collection
THE WORLD has been named to
"Memory of the World" Register
- the United Nation's attempt to
preserve the world's historical and
cultural heritage. In so doing,
UNESCO recognizes the EWMC
for its "exceptional value and calls for
it to be protected for the benefit of all
humanity." A plaque commemorating
this designation is soon to be unveiled.
The Main Library at the
University of the West Indies,
Trinidad and Tobago, is pleased
to be the repository of the Eric
Williams Memorial Collection,
consisting of an exhibit of
photographs, extracts of speeches
and memorabilia, together with a
recreation of Dr. Williams' study.
As scholars turn their attention
to this new wealth of information
they will discover an indispens-
able resource for rigorous analysis
of this eminent historian and the
era in which he lived.
Last year the EWMC received
international recognition with its
inclusion in the UNESCO
"Memory of the World" Register.
This endorsement bestows an
international appreciation of the
Collection's exceptional value
while it simultaneously reflects its
uniqueness. Significantly, it calls
for the Collection to be protected
for the benefit of humanity.
Already the conference papers
that have been written based on
research done in the EWMC -
forecast the appearance of
noteworthy publications in the
Dr. Margaret Rouse-Jones
SBlack Diaspora magazine, North
America / U.K. (February);
TV WYNE New York City Board
of Education's programme,
interview with Erica Williams
SNew York Daily Challenge,
SWellesley College Conference, "Eric
E. Williams and the Pan Africanist
Moment" and the accompanying
EWMC Museum exhibit (April):
SMassachusetts Area newspapers;
Web-site: Wellesley College;
Trinidad and Tobago print media;
Radio, Trinidad and Tobago: 102
FM, Conference broadcasts;
Radio, Miami: WVCG:
with Erica Williams Connell.
SEncyclopaedia Britannica's Book of
the Year, "Libraries and Museums"
SAmericas magazine, official
publication of the Organization of
American States, English and
Spanish editions (June);
SFlorida International University's
(FIU) Eric E. Williams Memorial
* Miami Herald (September 17);
SCaribbean Contact, newspaper;
SRadio, Miami: WAXY, WVCG,
WEDR and WMBM;
TV, Miami: PBS WLRN;
Trinidad and Tobago print media.
Carib Beat, New York Daily News,
Caribbean Beat, BWIA's in-flight
Sunday New York Times Magazine
article about EWMC inauguration
by Gen. Colin L. Powell (USA Ret.)
Onyx magazine, Black-issues
publication in Dallas, Texas
TV RFO Martinique, segment
filmed in Trinidad and Tobago on
Eric Williams and the EWMC,
aired at the 1998 Annual Reading
Festival, dedicated to Caribbean
The Reece Papers Papers of Sir
Alan Reece, Cabinet Secretary, and
Permanent Secretary in the Office
of the Prime Minister. Deposited
by his widow, Lady Erna Reece.
National Archives, Government of
Trinidad and Tobago Audio and
videotapes, numerous photographs
and official condolence books on
the death of Eric E. Williams.
Williams and Africa
by Prof. Colin Palmer
The Eric Williams Memorial
Collection provides the single
most important repository of papers of
this outstanding scholar and
statesman. Indefatigable as a
politician, Williams had the scholar's
trained mind and critical optic. This
was evident in the remarkable series of
reports to his Cabinet on several
African nations in 1964. A confirmed
internationalist, Caribbeanist, and
Pan-Africanist, Williams was
committed to Africa's struggle for
independence and associated his
nation with its cause.
But Dr. Williams never
romanticised the African peoples. He
found much to praise, but was also
distressed by certain conditions. After
visiting Senegal, he noted that it was
"tied hand and foot to France, and
nobody attempts to conceal it." He
thought the "outstanding characteristic
of Sierra Leone was the domination of
Great Britain." Similarly, he concluded
the "dominant feature of Liberia is the
domination of the USA."
Williams condemned "the
enormous waste of public funds" that
he observed in Liberia, and its
ridiculous protocol. He admired
President Nkrumah of Ghana's
leadership and vision, and thought
"Kenya's economic potential probably
exceeds that of any other (African)
country." The low level of technical
competence in Uganda and
Tanganyika surprised him. He was
particularly struck by the paucity of
teachers, doctors, lawyers and
stenographers in East African
Although Williams saw in African
unity, "a powerful political movement
towards decolonisation," he was
acutely conscious of the internal and
external obstacles it confronted.
Externally, the threat emanated from the
former colonial powers that still wanted
to retain some degree of power.
Internally, Williams identified a variety
of political tensions and disputes that
undermined the quest for African unity.
He urged college students to
liberate themselves from "intellectual"
colonialism and wanted to see
universities develop "the important
field of African Studies." He believed
that "...the movement for African
unity which has developed very
powerfully in recent months has not
yet extended to the intellectual field."
Dr. Williams, the historian, also
criticised African scholars for not
devoting adequate attention to
studying slave trade history, slavery,
and the impact of Africans on the
societies of the Diaspora. "It is almost
as if Africans have been upset by their
previous history and seek by the simple
formula of forgetting slavery to behave
as if it didn't exist at all."
These comments do not capture
adequately Dr. Williams' deep
understanding of the African reality in
the 1960's. His embrace of Africa was
bereft of empty sentimentalism and
romantic condescension, nor did his
identification with it mean that he
looked askance at other heritages.
Indeed, his life's work was dedicated to
honouring and appreciating all of the
world's peoples on their own terms.
Colin Palmer is Dodge Professor of
History at Princeton University.
Visitors of Note
SDr. Richard Blackett, University of Houston, USA
SCaribbean Association of Professionals and Scholars
SFaculty of Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Frantz Lebon, Regional Council Member and President of the Martinique
SRalph Schusler, Associated Press
Edward E. Schumaker III, US Ambassador
Madame Zhang Songxian, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China
Dr. Paul Sutton, University of Hull, UK
Prof Gordon Conway, Chairman, Rockefeller Foundation, USA
President Diana Chapman Walsh, Wellesley
College, launching the Conference.
2000: "Eric E. Williams and the Pan
WELLESLEY COLLEGE, MASSACHUSETTS,
CO-SPONSORED BY BROWN UNIVERSITY AND
THE W E. B. DU BOIS INSTITUTE,
Academic Representation: CARIBBEAN:
University of the West Indies. USA:
Brandeis; City University of New York
Graduate School; Columbia; Howard;
North Carolina (Chapel Hill); Oberlin
College; Pittsburgh; Rochester.
1999: "Eric E. Williams Memorial
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY,
FIU's first named memorial lecture.
Featured speaker was Dr. John Hope
Franklin, Professor Emeritus of Duke
University. Dr. Franklin is, arguably, not
only America's premier Black historian,
he also taught at Howard University with
Dr. Williams during the 1940's.
Over 350 persons attended, along with
scholars from Florida Memorial College;
Howard; State University of New York;
University of Miami and University of
the West Indies.
Vol. 20, No. 4
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA/ JOHNS HOPKINS
Entire issue dedicated to work by and
about Dr. Eric E. Williams. First time
that this prestigious journal of arts and
letters had focused on the work of a
1996: "Capitalism and Slavery Fifty
Years Later: Eric Williams and the
Post Colonial Caribbean"
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES,
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
CO-SPONSORED BY THE W E. B. DU BOIs
INSTITUTE, HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND
THE COLLEGIUM FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN
Academic Representation: CARBBEAN: Puerto
Rico. EUROPE: Odense (DENMARK);
Sorbonne (FRANCE). JAPAN: Yokkaichi.
UK Brunel; King Alfred's College; North
London. USA: Cornell; Duke; Florida
International University; Medgar Evers
College; Miami; Minnesota; North
Carolina Central; Research Institute for
the Study of Man; Spelman College;
1984: "British Capitalism e& Caribbean
Slavery: The Legacy of Eric E Williams"
BOSTON UNIVERSITY, MASSACHUSETTS,
CO-SPONSORED BY THE ROCKEFELLER
CONFERENCE AND STUDY CENTER,
Academic Representation: C4NADA:
Algonquin College; Waterloo. CARIBBEAN:
University of the West Indies. NIGERIA:
Ahmadu Bello. UK: East Anglia; Hull;
Oxford; St. Anthony's College; Warwick.
USA: College of the Holy Cross; Kansas;
MIT; Pennsylvania; Yale.
Dr. John Hope Franklin, Professor Emeritus Duke University, FIU, 1999
On The Horizon
S In commemoration of the upcoming
40th anniversary of Independence, |. ... .
Adrian Camps-Campins, prominent
artist, has agreed to paint Dr.
Williams at Trinidad and Tobago's -
flag-raising ceremony, celebrating its
Independence from Britain, at
midnight on August 31, 1962.
S The New York Public Library's
Schomburg Center is interested in
hosting an Eric Williams
Conference, coupled with an
EWMC Museum exhibition, under
the direction of Profs. Winston
James (Columbia) and Colin Palmer
(Princeton). Arrangements are in EWMC Museum display at Wellesley College Conference (Photo: Stephen Wong Kang)
* The EWMC intends to work with
corporate sponsors and the Ministry
of Education in Trinidad and Tobago
to promote school field trips to the
Museum. Structured lesson plans
will also be a component.
S The EWMC, in collaboration with
Canboulay Productions, plans to
present the stunning dramatic
presentation of Williams'
autobiography, Inward Hunger, at
various venues in Trinidad and
Tobago. It will be filmed for TV
broadcast. Far from being solely the
story of one man, it depicts the birth
of a nation and makes for compelling
viewing in an era when children
increasingly are without roots or a
sense of history, let alone the
impression that they can create it.
S Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, first President
of the Republic of Zambia and
architect of its independence from
Great Britain, will deliver the second
annual Eric E. Williams Memorial
Lecture at Florida International
University, on October 16, 2000.
The event is part of FIU's
Distinguished Africana Scholars
S Capitalism & Slavery and From
Columbus to Castro: The History
of the Caribbean 1492- 1969 will
be reprinted in Japanese after a
hiatus of thirty years.
Dr, Kenneth Kaunda,firstPresident ofthe Republic of Zambia, on arrivalin
Trinidad 1966 Prime Minister Eric E. Williams, centre. (Photo: James Porter Reid Family)
Back in Time...
he hemisphere's first, soon to be
expanded, liquefied natural gas
(LNG) plant, established in Trinidad and
Tobago in 1998, had its genesis under a
Williams administration in 1973.
Evidenced in the opening three lines of
Eric Williams' personal notepad dis-
played in the EWMC Museum, (shown
at right) Trinidad and Tobago's natural
resources specifically oil and gas reserves
- commanded intense international
interest. Indeed as much then, with the
prevailing energy crisis, as now.
Acutely aware of the longterm impact
of his decisions, which would influence
his country's economic future for
generations, Williams convened a
conference of international and national
energy and financial professionals as well
as the community-at-large. The mandate
was the rationalisation and utilisation of
the country's natural resources. He
deferred consideration of an Amoco, Ltd.
project for natural gas export when price
negotiations failed, opting instead to fully
exploit Trinidad and Tobago's hydrocar-
bon resources in situ, in order to wean
the country from its economic depen-
dence on sugar and other agricultural
To that end, he implemented a
development plan promoted by the
South Trinidad Chamber of Commerce,
establishing the Pt. Lisas Industrial
Estate, a world-class complex. It is now
the centrepiece of Trinidad and Tobago's
industrial development. As he then
stated, "Here at Pt. Lisas, sugar cane
gives way to wire rods."
With the potential for downstream
industries, and the prospect of greater
value accruing to the un-exported gas,
this plan would go on to foster the social
and economic development of Trinidad
and Tobago's people.
S History Revisited
^le- K- .
SL / v F
rr> ^-* 6 ..
Opening three lines state:
2. Restructuring Society
a) Energy-Based our gas -
flare, export, keep in ground?
In 1997 for example, per capital
Trinidad and Tobago was the largest
recipient of direct foreign investment in
the hemisphere, second only to Canada,
and boasting a gross domestic product on
par with that of Mexico and Brazil.
Countrywide, well-developed energy-
intensive industries thrive: eight ammonia
complexes, five methanol units (now the
world's leading exporter of both), a urea
plant, an iron and steel mill, and the
development of the additional LNG
facilities will make the plant the world's
As a consequence of Williams'
resource-based economic dynamism,
taken to new heights by successive
governments, Trinidad and Tobago has
more than earned its recent New York
Times moniker, "A Tiger in a Sea of Pussy
Cats." Thus is underscored the EWMC's
motto: History Provides the Blueprint.
Amalgamated Security Services, Ltd.
Bank of Nova Scotia
Bermudez Biscuit Company, Ltd.
British Petroleum, Ltd.
BWIA West Indies Airways
Caribbean Steel Mill
CL Financial, Ltd.
Complete Computer Systems Technology
Computers and Controls, Ltd.
Fui Toong On Association
Government of Trinidad and Tobago
International Communications Network
IT McLeod Partnership
L. J. Williams, Ltd.
Errol and Yvonne Mahabir
Methanol Company, Ltd.
National Gas Company, Ltd.
National Insurance Property Development
National Lotteries Control Board
National Petroleum Marketing Company, Ltd.
Neal and Massy Holdings, Ltd.
Point Lisas Industrial Port Development
Radio Vision, Power 102 FM Radio
Republic Bank, Ltd.
Ronald Jay Williams
Tourism and Industrial Development Company, Ltd.
Trinidad Cement, Ltd.
West Indies Stockbrokers, Ltd.
William H. Scott, Ltd.
Yorke Structures, Ltd.
Callaloo, University of Virginia/ Johns Hopkins
Florida International University
Friends of Trinidad and Tobago
Research Institute for the Study of Man
W. E.B. Du Bois Institute, Harvard University
A Selection of Books by or about Eric E. Williams
1. The Negro in the Caribbean by Eric E.
Williams (1942) ISBN 1-8813-1668-8
SPresents a panoramic view of the
Caribbean and its population and gives
meaningful perspective to its historic past.
The book identifies the problems of the
day and challenges the people's
interpretation of their future.
2. Capitalism & Slavery by Eric E. Williams
(1944) With a new introduction by Dr.
Colin Palmer ISBN 0-8078-4488-8
SDetails the correlation between the slave
trade and the Industrial Revolution and
propounds that the former was abolished
for economic and not solely humanitarian
reasons. This landmark study is based on
Dr. Eric Williams' doctoral dissertation.
3. Education in the British West Indies
by Eric E. Williams (1951)
SRepresents the basic ideas outlined by Dr.
Eric Williams, for higher education in the
colonies, to the sub-committee of the
commission appointed by the Secretary of
State for the Colonies in 1943.
4. History of the People of Trinidad &
Tobago by Eric E. Williams (1962)
SCelebrates Trinidad and Tobago's
declaration of Independence on August 31,
1962, and details in full its colonial history.
5. Documents of West Indian History:
From the Spanish Discovery to the British
Conquest of Jamaica by Eric E. Williams
(1963) ISBN 1- 8813-1666-1
SCorrects the deficiency where few colonials
wrote their own history. The book
attempts to forge the cultural integration
of the Caribbean with its "common
heritage of subordination to and dictation
by outside interests."
6. British Historians and the West Indies
by Eric E. Williams (1966)
SFocuses on the Jamaican rebellion of 1865.
This book examines British writers and
"British attitudes to West Indian
history...shows that many assumptions are
false and that much historical objectivity is
no more than barely disguised prejudice."
7. From Columbus to Castro: The History
of the Caribbean 1492- 1969
by Eric E. Williams (1970)
SDetails the history of the entire Caribbean
and itspeoples, separated by the language
and culture of their colonisers. This book
defines "a profoundly important but
neglected and misrepresented area of the
8. British Capitalism and Caribbean Slavery:
The Legacy of Eric Williams
Edited by Barbara Solow and
Stanley Engerman (1987)
SEmanates from the 1984 Bellagio, Italy,
Conference on Eric Williams,
co-sponsored by Boston University and
the Rockefeller Conference and Study
9. Eric E. Williams Speaks: Essays on
Colonialism and Independence
Edited by Selwyn R. Cudjoe (1993)
ISBN 0-8702-3888-4 (paper)
ISBN 0-8702-3887-6 (cloth)
SReproduces Dr. Eric Williams' most
important political writings and
underscores his use of language to add to
the emotional power of his political
analyses and arguments.
*10. Callaloo, Vol. 20, No.4
University of Virginia/
Johns Hopkins Journal (1998)
Features for the first time an
entire issue on a 'political writer', Dr.
Eric Williams. This scholarly African
American journal of arts and letters
debuted in 1976.
*11. Caribbean Issues, Vol. 8, Nos. 1&2
UWI Journal (1998/1999)
*12. Capitalism & Slavery: Fifty Years Later -
Eric E. Williams A Reassessment of
The Man & His Work
Edited by Heather Cateau &
S. H. H. Carrington (2000)
SReassesses Dr. Williams' work, revisits
his magnum opus, CAPITALISM &
SLAVERY and embraces new
developments and trends in the
(*) These works emanate from the 1996 UWI
conference, co-sponsored by the W. E. B. Du
Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at
Harvard University and the Collegium for
African American Research (Europe).
Scholarships and Prizes
The Eric Williams Memorial Scholarship
1999: JEROME TEELUCKSINGH
This scholarship is valid for two years (M.Phil.) or three (Ph.D.). Applicants must be
CARICOM nationals with university degrees (at least Upper Second Class or its equivalent)
in history, economics or political science. The candidate will be required to pursue full-
time studies for the M.Phil. or Ph.D. degree at UWI, Trinidad and Tobago.
Research topics: Caribbean History, Caribbean Economic Development, Caribbean
Politics. Scholarship value: US $6,000 (approx.). To apply, write: Assistant Registrar,
Postgraduate Section, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Republic of Trinidad and
Tobago. Closing Date: May 1, 2001.
The Eric Williams Prize for History
Department of History, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, annual award.
Course: Capitalism and Slaveiy Courses: Imperialism, 1763-1918: Imperialism Since 1914
1997: NICOLE PHILLIP 1997: DEBBIE RAMJASS
1998: FIONA-ANN TAYLOR 1998: DEXTER WEBB
1999: SHALLINI PIERRE 1999: JUNIA MARIN
- .. .
. . . . . .. ....
In December 1999, Ebony magazine
named Dr. Eric E. Williams as one of the
"100 Most Important Blacks in the
World in the 20' Century."
The 1999 U.S. law school entrance
examination, The Official LSAT Prep
Test (XIX Edition) includes two pages of
questions about Dr. Eric Williams and
"Keep this signature. I have been inspired inig
to accomplish even greater heights for .i
Keisha Lewis, UWI student
S"You, the children, yours is the great responsibility to educate yourparents, teach them
"Illuminating. A testament to a to live together in harmony ... To your tender and loving hands the future of the
great life." Nation is entrusted. In your innocent hearts, the pride of the Nation is enshrined.
Dr. David Trotman, On your scholastic development the salvation of the Nation is dependent ... you carry
York University, Canada the future of Trinidad and Tobago in your school bags."
Eric E. Williams, 1962 Independence Youth Rally
"Until the lions have their historians,
Tales of the hunt will continue to be about the hunter"
This newsletter is an annual publication of the EWMC, edited by Helen Kitti Smith and Erica Williams Connell.
It is intended to highlight the activities of the Collection, to promote dispassionate intellectual research and investigation,
and to assist in fulfilling the EWMC's mission statement: "Historia Exemplum Proponit" (History Provides the Blueprint)
ERIc WILLIAMS MEMORIAL COLLECTION
UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES, ST. AUGUSTINE, REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Tel: (868) 662-2002 Fax: (868) 662-9238
Dr. Margaret Rouse-Jones
Erica Williams Connell
Tel: (305) 271-7246
P. 0. Box 561631
Fax: (305) 271-4160
Dr. Glenroy Taitt
Miami, FL. 33256 -1631 USA
Production: Gattina International. Seal KAMO Designs and Productions. Digital Imaging: Cyan Studios.
Printed on acid-free paper