How race and class shaped post-colonial Trinidad and Tobago

A new book, Trinidad and Tobago: Visioning a Nation of Great Hope, focuses on the question of how race and class have fundamentally shaped the post-colonial social formation of Trinidad and Tobago.

The book, by humanitarian and nation-builder Derek Abdul Salick (BA ’99, BA ’05), will launch Thursday, Nov. 14, from 3:30 to 6pm, on the main floor of the York University Bookstore, York Lanes, Keele campus. All proceeds from sales of the book will go to thTrinidad and Tobago Book Cvre Multicultural Women’s Organization. Everyone is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Race was the master concept that determined the basic organizational structure, assigning the Africans as slaves from the 1730s to 1830s. Equally, race assigned the East Indians and Chinese their place in the post-slave colonial mode of production. Class was an attribute assigned only to the European planters. Trinidad and Tobago looks at the historical background of this structured colonial society and where it has led in the post-colonial period.

Trinidad and Tobago “represents an authentic voice in the area of development and human rights,” says York sociology Professor Paul Brienza. “Offering a unique combination of personal experience and scholarly insights, this book provides the reader with a wide range of tools for understanding the complex nature of Caribbean society.”

Salick earned degrees in political science and international development studies and spent 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. He has won many awards for service excellence, including the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal and the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal. He also received the Spirit Cup Award from York University in 2005.

Now retired from military service, Salick dedicates his time to building the non-profit Multicultural Women’s Organization, which he founded to help empower women in Canada and Trinidad through sports and education.

Salick is currently working on his second book, a personal memoir focusing on his military service in Bosnia. For more information, visit Derek Abdul Salick’s website.

The book launch is hosted by the York University Bookstore.