08 July 2011


In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly declared the year beginning January 1, 2011 the International Year for People of African Descent (IYPAD). This year is expected to draw the world’s “attention to the promotion of greater knowledge and respect for the diverse heritage and culture of people of African descent.”

At the launch of the IYPAD hosted by the Emancipation Support Committee, the honourable Prime Minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar stated that, “This International Year offers a unique opportunity to re-energise to fight racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance that affect Afro descendants in all parts of the world. She added that, “the year gives us an opportunity to remember and to note with gratitude the contribution of the African ancestors to our economic, social and cultural heritage”.

As part of the national programme of activities to commemorate the year and in keeping with the General Assembly of the United Nations’ Resolution, Nalis will host a series of activities. Following is a snapshot of some the activities.

Displays and Exhibitions
In keeping with the theme Retention, Recognition and Respect, all libraries in the Nalis network will mount an exhibition/display on our rich African heritage.

Emancipation Celebrations - July
The Heritage Library Division will facilitate a panel discussion and exhibition on “African Retention in Dance in Trinidad and Tobago”; an exhibition on African Retention in Trinidad and Tobago featuring food, language and cultures; and an exhibition entitled African Resettlement in Trinidad, investigating where Africans settled in the country.

African Retention in Trinidad and Tobago Exhibition
This exhibition will feature the food, language, and cultures in Trinidad and Tobago that have been retained from the African Continent.

African Resettlement Exhibition
In recognition of African History Month, the Heritage Library Division will mount an exhibition entitled, Resettlement – Where Africans Settled in Trinidad.

Lecture - September
The work of renowned author and psychologist, Dr. Joy DeGruy on post traumatic slave syndrome will be explored. This work seeks to address the residual effects of enslavement on African people in the Diaspora and offers solutions.

Launch of Calypso Lyrics Database - October
For Calypso History Month, Nalis will launch its Calypso Lyrics database available via the Nalis website. The database will contain approximately 1000 calypso lyrics and bio data on calypso artistes. Calypsos on African themes will be highlighted.

Celebrity Tale-A-Thon - October
The annual National Library Week Celebrity Tale-A-Thon storytellers will explore tales from Africa and the Diaspora.

A full list of Nalis’ programmes will be posted on our website at www.nalis.gov.tt