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Guantanamo’s Cuban British West Indian Welfare Center Hosts the 1st International Eugene Godfried Memoriam Gathering by Tony Van Der Meer, 7/15/10.

Eugène Edward Godfried Presilia: in Memoriam, Primer Encuentro Internacional, Guantánamo: July 6, 2010. Billed as a First International Meeting, with plans for follow-on meetings. Sponsored by the Haitian Community and the Anglophone Community in Guantánamo, with the participation of the the British West Indian Welfare Center and the Ballet Folklórico Babul.

On the work of Cuba patriot Eugene Godfried,
7/26/09 talk by Tony Van Der Meer, Boston, MA

Final Rites of Passage: Eugene Godfried
, by Tony Van Der Meer, African Studies, UMass, Boston, 4/13/09


Report on Eugene Godfried Services, Curaçao
, 4/4/09: over 500 attended, including ministers from several governments. YouTube link.

James Millette on Eugene Godfried, 4/2/09

Julia Goldrosen on Eugene Godfried, 4/2/09

Von Martin on Eugene Godfried, 3/31/09

Willie Thompson on Eugene Godfried
, 3/30/09

Tony Menelik Van Der Meer on Eugene Godfried, 3/30/09

Janet Jagan, Chicago Native Who Led Guyana, Dies at 88, New York Times, 3/29/09

Eugene remembered in the Media

Final Rites Of Passage: a Salute to Brother Eugene Godfried, Black Commentator, 4/16/09

Legacy of broadcasting icon Eugene Godfried hailed in Caribbean and US, 4/9/09 Caribbean Net News

Von Martin of the WPFW radio show Caribbeana in Washington, DC. did a tribute to Eugene on Saturday, April 4, 2009, from 7-10pm.  The mp3 file available as a podcast at his website www.caribbeana.org at www.caribbeana.org/2009shows/
120-caribbeana-2009-04-04-shows

Eugene Godfried (1952-2009): Remembering a champion of Caribbean music, Afropop WorldWide, 4/2/09

Afrocubaweb’s Eugene Godfried Dies at 56, Havana Times, 4/2/09

In memoriam: Eugène Godfried - 'Een gepassioneerd pleitbezorger van de Afro-Caribische cultuur' - Radio Nederland, 4/1/09 With comments from his daughters Nohraya and Yomini Godfried.


Articles, Videos, Events

Many videos at REGI Radio  -- including one on The Independents of Color

Reforma Agrario I Peska I nos SEU, Curaçao, 7/3/08 Papiamentu

Interview with Eugène Godfried: Call for dialog on the 1912 Massacre, 10/5/07 Entrevista con Eugène Godfried: una llamada para el dialogo sobre la masacre de 1912, 5/10/07

Eugene Godfried Calls on Fidel Castro for Reflection and Action concerning the 1912 Massacre: YouTube Video, 9/07

Video sobre El Doce: Eugene Godfried Ruega a Fidel Castro Reflexion y Accion sobre 1912, 9/07

Eugene Godfried's "Broadening Black participation in Revolutionary Cuba (1986-2006)" presented at the 32nd Conference of the Association for Caribbean Studies, 6/2007

Plessy vs Ferguson and the Caribbean, 10/14/06

Research Scholar at Michigan State University
, African Atlantic Research Team, 9/15/06 US Tour taking shape for 2006-2007

Words of thanks on the occasion of my illness, 9/06

Eugene Godfried on Africa Kabisa Radio, live & on the Internet, 4 shows in Oct 05

Fund raiser for Eugene in Boston/Jamaica Plain, MA, showing of Race in Cuba, 2/27/05

Contacting Eugène Godfried


Eugène Edward Godfried Presilia
10/23/1952 - 3/29/2009
community organizer, music producer,
and radio journalist
Director, Caribbean Division, Radio Havana
Director, Radio Eugene Godfried International

Eugène Godfried Presilia passed on to the ancestors Sunday morning, March 29, 2009, in Willemstad, Curaçao, after suffering a grave stroke March 21st. He is survived by two daughters in Curaçao, Yomini and Nohraya Godfried, a daughter in Oriente, Krisjocelyn Godfried , as well as his aunt Crisma Merien-Presilia in Curaçao who raised him, his father Alwin Godfried, his sisters Alwina and Nathaly, his brothers Egbert, Alwin Jr., and Nathaniel, his cousins, including Rutger Merien and many other family members and friends. Services were April 4th, 2009, with over 500 people attending, including ministers from several governments. The family is planning an exhibit and is appealing to those who have images, videos, or writings to send them along to the family contacts by email or regular mail.

Eugène Godfried was a community organizer, music producer, ethnomusicologist, and radio journalist. For the past 30 years, he worked with Caribbean nations to promote ideas and actions regarding popular culture and Caribbean identity. He dedicated his life to articulating and interpreting cultures of the Caribbean and to fostering Afro-Caribbean pride. 

Born in the nation of Curaçao Dutch Antilles, Mr. Godfried began his education in Catholic primary schools of his homeland and took his higher degree in Holland in social services with an emphasis on culture and community organizing. 

Mr. Godfried served a four year term as president of the farmers’ cooperative of Curaçao, a subject matter he came back to in the last year of his life, when he diligently promoted agrarian reform as the Coordinator of the Plataforma Agrario Nashonal (PAN). . He worked with local Caribbean communities as an organizer and with labor unions throughout the region. He was directly responsible for organizing the recognition and celebration of the first rebellion in 1795 of enslaved Africans in Curaçao.

In the 70's, Mr. Godfried was an aide to his mentor, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, the Marxist chief minister of Guyana who was overthrown by Britain's MI6. Dr. Jagan, of Indian descent, was replaced by black Guyanese working for Anglo-American interests. He thus came to the notice of the leadership of the Cuban government, who asked him to delve into matters of AfroCuban culture, music, and politics, a difficult and sometimes thankless task. He joined the Cuban Communist Party and became a part of the Buro Ideologico. His role gave him considerable latitude to criticize the comrades and they accepted his criticism at the highest levels, though naturally he made a few unhappy.  He outlined some of his critique in Reflections On Race And The Status Of People Of African Descent In Revolutionary Cuba, for which he was recognized by the Caribbean Studies Association. It caused a stir in Havana when it was published in 2000.

He devoted a significant part of his early life to broadcasting and communications in his native island, Curaçao, but also worked in sister countries in the Caribbean, USA, Canada and Europe. His professional work on Cuban radio stations included Radio Taino, Radio Progreso, where he directed Caribbean programming, Radio Rebelde, and Radio CMKS-Guantanamo, among others. Since 1995, he directed the Caribbean Desk of Radio Habana Cuba International as a Caribbean Specialist. Eugene was fluent in thirteen languages. His main broadcast languages included English, Spanish, Papiamentu, French, and Kreol. 

He spent several years in Oriente at the time of the Special Period, sharing food with the Cubans so his daily rations sometimes consisted of just raw sugar, something we remember when considering his later diabetes which led to the loss of one of his feet.

Eugène Godfried was also a specialist on celebrations of Carnival as expressed in Caribbean and Latin American nations. He participated in the September 1998 world conference on carnival held in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a producer and promoter for the Cuban group Conjunto Chappottín y sus Estrellas. The thirteen group members are direct musical and ancestral descendants of AfroCuban musicians responsible for perfecting and popularizing the musical complex known as son. Mr. Godfried was responsible for the designation of the group as a National Treasure of the Cuban people.

Conjunto Chappottín y sus Estrellas are sons, grandsons, and other relatives of musicians who made this popular dance music tradition famous. As producer and promoter of the Conjunto, Eugene Godfried was committed to insuring that audiences of the world understand Son as authentic Cuban, cultural creation. He promoted the music complex as  well as Conjunto Chappottín y sus Estrellas throughout the Caribbean.

Eugene was a visiting scholar and guest lecturer at numerous American universities from 1999 - 2007. His lecture topics included issues of race and identity in the Caribbean, as well as popular culture, history, politics, and journalism. Eugene Godfried's research examined the connections between Africa and the Caribbean, (as well as the world), from anthropological, linguistic, cultural, religious, political, and economic perspectives. He was also deeply interested in the US African American community and its civil rights movement.

Never one to stay idle, he mastered the art of self broadcasting and set up his own Internet radio,  www.regiradio.org, in 2006. He also produced many videos on topics of Caribbean identity, culture, and history. 

We will miss him sorely, as now is the time when the issues he confronted in such a deep way are coming to the fore and his was an understanding born of  hard-earned time in Cuba with people at every level of the society.

                                                                                   -- Andy Petit          

Interviewed by AIN, Warmongering and National Security Top Bush Electoral Platform, 9/3/02 "Eugene Godfried, a journalist from Radio Havana Cuba currently in New York City, was interviewed by phone on the impact of the Republican Convention. He noted that amidst a setting of panic and terror, the event exalts Bush as the commander-in-chief of a country at war, while playing down social and economic issues closer to the public interest. Godfried added that the Bush administration is terrorizing the public as a smokescreen, while ignoring the massive street protests against the war in Iraq and its meddling in the affairs of Caribbean and Latin American and Caribbean countries."

Interviewed by Granma in "Bush out!", 9/2/04 "Contacted by phone in New York by Miguel Angel Masjuán, a Radio Havana Cuba journalist, Eugene Godfried explained that the Bush government has created the phantom notion of possible acts of terrorism. The convention is being staged around the image of Bush as the only man able to halt terrorism."top


Radio Havana program hours for Eugene Godfried's show Caribbean Outlook


Eugene's Jan - Feb 2001 US tour

Godfried Lecture Series

Letter on Salsa vs Son

Chappottín y sus Estrellas

 

Eugene Godfried on Africa Kabisa Radio, live & on the Iinternet, 10/05

October 2005 -- During the month of October 2005, Eugene Godfried will be a weekly featured guest on Radio Africa Kabisa, phoning in live from Guadeloupe. Africa Kabisa airs Sundays 4-6pm EST (1600-1800h) on WMBR 88.1 FM, Cambridge, MA. The program also streams live on the Web at www.wmbr.org . Broadcast archives are available for download at www.wmbr.org or www.africakabisa.org . Eugene's feature will run from approximately 4:40-5:00pm.

Featured topics:

10/2 -- African influence on music in the Caribbean. Focus on Curacao
and tumba, tambu, muzik di zumbi.

10/9 -- The rise and fall of Cuban social clubs. Their importance
in the development and preservation of Afro-Cuban music and culture.
Guaguancos from Arsenio Rodriguez and Felix Chappottin.

10/16 -- Topical songs and Afro-Cuban history: Chappottin's "Alto
Songo" and "La Protesta de Baragua"

10/23 -- Music in Guadeloupe: gwoka, cadence

 

Radio Eugène Godfried International web site www.regiradio.org

Eugene Godfried Obituary: Press Release, 4/4/09

Writings

Cuban Music & Culture

Cuban Popular Music: Renewal Efforts From Above, 9/04

The African Cuban Diaspora’s Cultural Shelters and Their Sudden Disappearance in 1959,  8/04

Dialogue with Juan Cruz, Past President, ‘Marianao Club Social’ - La Havana, 8/19/04

Dialogue with Founding Leaders of Guantanamo’s Social Club ‘La Nueva Era’, 8/6/04

La Protesta de Baragua: Culture and Popular Music Have the Last Word -- They Say What the Official Culture Can’t, 8/04

Buena Vista Social Club: Critics, self-criticism, and the survival of Cuban Son
, 11/00


Cuba & Race

Marcus Mosiah Garvey and Cuba
, 6/04

Reflections On Race And The Status Of People Of African Descent In Revolutionary Cuba, 1/01

Cuba en una perspectiva caribeña, 2/01    Cuba in a Caribbean Perspective, 6/00


1912

La Prensa Guantanamera y la Masacre de 1912 en Cuba, 44p,  PDF 1 MB, 1/04

Dialogue with Ricardo Riquenes Herrera on the Partido Independiente de Color & the 1912 Massacre of Blacks in Guantánamo, Cuba, 2/07  Eugène Godfried Dialogando con Ricardo Riquenes Herrera sobre el Partido Independiente De Color y la Masacre de 1912 en Guantánamo, Cuba, 7/07

La Maya y la Masacre de 1912: Eugène Godfried En Dialogo Con Maritza Elias, 11/04   Dialogue With Maritza Elias: On the Massacre of 1912 in La Maya, Cuba, 10/07

Quintín Bandera y su asesinato traicionero: preludio inevitable para la creacion del Partido Independiente de Color,  9/05

Alto Songo: Son in popular culture & history, resistance & liberation, 7/04


The Wars of Independence

Guillermón Moncada and the Defeat of ‘Rancheador’- Slavehunter - Miguel Pérez Céspedes Of Guantánamo, 5/05      Guillermón Moncada: Vencedor del Rancheador Miguel Pérez Céspedes de Guantánamo, 5/05

Dialogue With Magdalena Cantillo Frometa: On Mariana Grajales Coello, “Mother Of The Cuban Nation
,” 4/15/05   Dialogo Con Magdalena Cantillo Frometa Sobre Mariana Grajales Coello “Madre De La Patría Cubana,” 15/4/05

Dialogue In Santiago De Cuba With Joel Mourlot Mercaderes On Antonio Maceo y Grajales “Freedom Worker” by Eugène Godfried, 11/04    Dialogo En Santiago De Cuba Con Joel Mourlot Mercaderes: Antonio Maceo y Grajales, de Eugène Godfried, 11/04

José Martí i Rasismo - Su Bishita na Kórzou, Papiamento version of José Martí and Racism: His Visit to Curaçao, 11/2005 José Martí and Racism: His Visit to Curaçao, 7/04   José Martí y el Racismo: Su Visita a Curazao, 7/04


Early Cuban History


CARLOTA: Lukumí/Yoruba Woman Fighter for Liberation, Massacred in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1844
,  7/06  CARLOTA: luchadora lukumí/yoruba para la liberación, masacrada en Matanzas, Cuba, en 1844, 7/06

Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés – Plácido 9/05 English   Placido Martir, 9/05 (español)

Maroons and Palenques in Guantanamo Province - Godfried interviews Diego Bosch Ferrer, historian, Director of Cultural Patrimony, Guantánamo Province, 7/04


Bolivar - Gran Colombia


Carlos Manuel Piar And Pedro Luis Brion: Curaçaoans Struggling Together With Simon Antonio Bolivar y Palacios For Liberation From Colonialism And Racism
, 9/06 
Carlos Manuel Piar, Pedro Luis Brión Yunanan Di Kòrsou Huntu Ku Simón Bolĺvar y Palacios Den Lucha Kontra Kolonismo I Rasismo, 9/06

José Leonardo Chirino - Josef Caridad Gonzales, African Venezuelan Fighters of the 1795 Revolution, by Eugène Godfried, 10/05     José Leonardo Chirino y Josef Caridad Gonzales, Luchadores africanos venezuelanos de la gran revolucion de 1795, por Eugène Godfried, 10/05     José Leonardo Chirino Et Josef Caridad Gonzales, Chefs africains venezuelens de la revolution libertaire de 1795, de Eugène Godfried, 10/05  


Curaçao

Reforma Agrario I Peska I nos SEU, 7/3/08 (Papiamentu)

Abolition & Liberation In Curaçao , 7/06   Abolishon i Liberashon na Korsou, 7/06 (Papiamentu)

20 Years Agrarian & Fisheries Reform Call In Curaçao  7/12/06  20 Aňa Reforma Agrario I Peska, Papiamentu, 7/12/06


Miscellaneous Topics

Plessy vs Ferguson and the Caribbean, 10/06

On the work of Cuba patriot Eugene Godfried, 7/26/09

In the 50th year of the Cuban Revolution, we celebrate the national holiday, July 26th, with ..

Professor Tony Van der Meer  speaking on 

On the work of Cuba patriot Eugene Godfried

Eugene Godfried, who died earlier this year, was a long time English languages correspondent for Radio Havana Cuba. 

Along with: A Film on Women and the Cuban Revolution
Con la Memoria en el Futuro
(With Our Memory on the Future)
 
Sunday  July  26th ,   7  PM 

This documentary produced by the noted Cuban filmmaker Octavio Cortázar in 2005 on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) charts the profound changes in the status of women as a result of the Cuban revolution. At an FMC Congress in 1966 Fidel Castro described the beginning of these changes as the "revolution within the revolution." This FMC documentary gives the viewer a picture of Cuba today, with women working in a variety of jobs that were almost exclusively male prior to the 1959 revolution. Through the lively interviews, women and men of many generations describe how the revolution, with hundreds of thousands of women working outside the home everyday, has impacted relations in the workplace, sexual relations, divorce, and women and men's role in the household. You get a frank picture of how deeply entrenched traditional views are on these questions, and of the role of the FMC in this on-going battle of ideas.

$5  Suggested Donation,   Light snacks ...

Community Church of Boston, 565 Boylston St., Boston (Copley Sq or Back Bay T)   www.july26.org   617-230-9505

Eugene Godfried Services, Curaçao, 4/4/09

Over 500 people came to the services for Eugene Godfried, including the Governor of Curacao, Frits Goedgedrag, many other politicians from Curacao, the Minister of Agriculture from St. Vincent, Selmon Walters, former Minister from Guyana,  Navin Chandarpal, Tony van der Meer from Boston, and so on. The three last mentioned also gave a speech and Yomini Godfried, his daughter, gave a speech after them. She spoke a little bit of her experience with her father in Cuba, where she had the privilege to work with him at Radio Habana Cuba. She mentioned how much she learned from him, how many people in Cuba respected him for his work, for his knowledge, and how much he liked working there.

The local Television from Curacao, Telecuracao, was there and showed a small part of the funeral at night on the news of 8 pm. This is available on their website www.telecuracao.com as 'Entiero di Eugene Godfried'. Or you can visit Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVbXyTdybag

There you can get a glimpse on the funeral. At the point they were filming, there weren't a lot of people yet, but later the church was full of people.

-- from information sent by Yomini Godfried

James Millette on Eugene Godfried, 4/2/09top
Professor of African American Studies, Oberlin College

EUGÈNE GODFRIED: AN APPRECIATION

The death of Eugene Godfried on March 29, 2009, has closed an important chapter in the political life of the Caribbean in general and the Dutch Caribbean in particular. For more than thirty years the name and the activities of Eugene Godfried had to be reckoned with in the region. As activist, as radical politician, as radio journalist, as researcher and propagandist Eugene articulated a constant message of challenge and change, of hope and transformation, from one end of the Caribbean to the other.

I first heard of Eugene in the early 1970’s and met him in that period in the midst of major developments that were then taking place in the region. He himself had been living in Holland for some years and had been watching with great interest the drama of colonialism and independence, of liberation and neo-colonialism then unfolding in the region.

After the Second World War, the European colonies in the West Indies embarked on the road to decolonization and independence. But the road had many paths. 

For some, particularly in the English speaking countries, there was the straight road to autonomy and independence led by Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, by Barbados and Guyana, to be shortly followed some other countries of the then British West Indies. 

For others, as for example in the French Antilles, there was no liberation at all despite the sometimes fierce struggles waged by anti-colonialists in Martinique and Guadeloupe. In fact, with liberation and independence breaking out in several places around them the French islands were incorporated even more closely into the bosom of French imperialism by the device of departmentalization which declared that the West Indian colonies were departments of France, nothing more, nothing less.

In the Dutch Antilles, too, the record of decolonization was meager. Suriname became independent in 1975, and Aruba achieved status aparte some time afterwards, but the dead hand of colonialism rested heavily on the rest of the Netherlands Antilles. Today the political status of most of the units of the Netherlands Antilles is still colonial in its essence, whatever pretences might now and then be made about their constitutional position.

Eugene himself, in his many writings and speeches about his life and work, identifies this reality and this period as important in the building of his own political consciousness and in the creation of a new consciousness in Curacao. And it was against this reality that he struggled for most of his life.

The period of the 1970’s and after was for him the best and the worst of times.

Best because, as he often put it himself, it opened up a whole vista of intimate interaction with the people of Curacao and other parts of the Netherlands Antilles and with the broader Caribbean. In the service of that mission he threw himself vigorously into the radicalization processes in the region between 1969 and 1983.

His work resulted in drawing the Dutch Caribbean, usually perceived as remote and hidden from the wider region largely because of the language barrier, into a closer relationship with the broader Caribbean movement. In the event, as a radio journalist covering the Caribbean on the airwaves of Radio Havana, Cuba, he achieved the high point of his mission and of his influence. 

Worst, because it soon became clear that the struggle for political liberation in the Netherlands Antilles would be frustrated by forces rooted in the history of the region and the islands themselves: forces that had frustrated his ideological mentors and progenitors and were also frustrating him. It is against these forces that Eugene battled for most of his life, and it was that struggle that he conducted right up to the time of his death.

But as militant and radical as he was, Eugene was also very human, very cultured, very sophisticated. He was the quintessential Caribbean man. He was fluent in nearly all the languages of the region - from Papiamentu to Patois to Kreyol to Sranang to French and English and Spanish and Dutch and Portuguese, to name only a few - and willingly interpreted the various cultures in language and in meaning to each other and to all those seriously interested in knowing the real Caribbean.

He was at home everywhere: at ease in Trinidad and Tobago as he was in Martinique and Guadeloupe, intelligible and engaging as he spoke of Surinam and Curacao and Cuba and the Dominican Republic, completely informed and informative as he spoke about the latest developments in Guyana, or as he reminisced on the history of Jamaica or Grenada or St. Vincent or Barbados or the wider Black diaspora. He was completely at ease discussing Toussaint or Aristide, Marti or Fidel, Bogle or Boukman, Piar or Nanny, Nkrumah or Mandela. Maurice Bishop or Michael Manley, Lula or Chavez, Bolivar or Maceo, Butler or Jagan, and of course he would be nearly delirious when talking about his own homegrown heroes –Kodjo and Magdalena and Kwasi and others.

And the arts. He loved the music of the Caribbean, and admired and advocated for the artistes who made the various genres so thrilling and exhilarating. He was a walking encyclopaedia about the son, about reggae, and calypso and steelband, about crossover music and the legendary figures of the musics of the peoples and of all those who treasured the sounds of indigenous composition and performance. He was deeply informed and respectful of the religious and secular traditions of the region, of the interweaving of Santeria and Christianity and Ethiopianism and Rastafarianism, and the pronounced reality of Hinduism and Islam in the political and social life of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.

But it is not possible on an occasion like this, and in the compass of a single reflection, to catch the essence of what Eugene Godfried meant to the Caribbean and the world. Time will provide a more ample context in which to examine his life and his work. For the time being, it is sufficient to note his unique gifts and personality and to mourn, with his wide circle of family and friends, his untimely passing.

James Millette
Professor of African American Studies
Oberlin College, OH 44074
USA 
March 31, 2009

Julia Goldrosen on Eugene Godfried, 4/2/09top
Host/Producer, Africa Kabisa, WMBR 88.1fm, Cambridge, MA, www.africakabisa.org
Second-in-Command, Radio Eugene Godfried International, www.regiradio.org 

Eugene Godfried: Always Live and Direct, Nonstop Nonstop

I first met Eugene Godfried in the summer of 2004 when he came to the States to cover the U.S. presidential conventions for Radio Habana Cuba. Little did I know that would be the only time I would see him in person. Yet, improbably and remarkably enough, we maintained a close relationship and tight bond through near-daily phone conversations as fate and his travels led him to the Netherlands, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Michigan, Dominican Republic, and finally back to his home in Curaçao. 

As a public health professional and medical journalist, I did my best to provide Eugene with guidance and advice for his increasingly complex medical conditions. More important, as a fellow longtime radio host, we shared a mutual love of African and Caribbean music, history, languages, and culture. We exchanged recordings and information on numerous genres and artists including African rumba (the equivalent of guajira son) and highlife, the Cuban son complex, zouk, kompa, rocksteady, calypso, and of course American soul, because the man truly loved his Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, and Smokey Robinson. He also loved the irony that a Jewish woman in Somerville, Massachusetts had this deep vault of music from Africa and the African diaspora. 

Eugene told me his grandfather was Jewish and he was very proud of his Ashkenazic heritage and surname, as well as mine. In nearly every conversation of ours, he would pay tribute to “our cousins,” Karl Marx and Jesus Christ. Eugene’s irreverent trickster humor relished these types of incongruities, and he delighted in defying people’s expectations and categorizations, as well as their pretenses. He was a too profoundly deep thinker and complex man to fit any neat boxes. Similarly, he made no preconceived assumptions about others. His open heart and humanity accepted people from everywhere based on who they were, not what they represented. As a trained clinical psychologist, and naturally intuitive man, he had an uncanny ability to grasp people at their very core.

Eugene’s professional roles included scholar, researcher, linguist, community organizer, political activist/strategist and, perhaps closest to his heart, radio and television host. “I’m a radio man,” he would say when I would talk to him about preparing for an interview topic on one of my programs. “Just give me the mic and a question, and I’ll take it from there.” And, indeed, handing the microphone to Eugene was quite a lethal proposition; once he got hold of it, it was difficult to wrest it away! One never knew where he would go with a question, but it was sure to be an interesting journey. I’m glad the listeners of my Africa Kabisa radio program had the opportunity to hear his perspectives, and his delineations of the unbreakable connections between Africa and the Caribbean.

Like many others, I used to tune in via shortwave to Eugene’s broadcasts on Radio Habana Cuba. When he left Cuba, he really felt a radio void. Because broadcasting was so meaningful to him, and social isolation so anathema, I encouraged him to start his own online radio service, Radio Eugene Godfried International (REGI Radio) as well as to produce video clips for YouTube. Once again, Eugene’s brilliance was astounding. Although he could be technically challenged by the simplest things (like retrieving voice mail on a cell phone), he managed within moments to master complex audio/video production and editing software. And to boss me, and others, into helping him with the logistics of REGI Radio. When he was determined to make something happen, absolutely nothing would stand in his way, and as a man of action he had little tolerance for those who talked about what they would do without ever doing it. The response he received from listeners of www.regiradio.org gave him great joy, and he loved the power of the Internet to connect him with compatriots around the globe. In selecting a name for his broadcasting service and website, Eugene felt strongly that “International” was an integral component. He wanted to educate and inform not only the Caribbean, but the world as a whole. 

It was also important for Eugene to reach his listeners in the languages they spoke, and to celebrate each language and culture. Announcements for the broadcasts were sent out in English, Spanish, French, Papiamentu, and Kreyol. As a talented linguist, Eugene had a voracious appetite for all aspects of words and language -- pronunciation, orthography, etymology, syntax. He even loved to spell out loud. He was dedicated to gaining respect and recognition for his native language of Papiamentu, and had recently written his autobiography in it. A Catholic priest friend had suggested he include passages from Second Corinthians that reflected his life (e.g., “I repeat, let no man think me a fool; if otherwise yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.”) 

In the travails and journeys of the Apostle Saint Paul, and his clever role as a “holy fool,” Eugene saw parallels with his own political struggles and mission. Like Paul, Eugene was viewed by some as a madman, and by others as a genius. Eugene himself had early in life trained for the priesthood, (but, no surprise, could not abide submission to authority), and I am moved that his family will be holding his funeral in the church where he was a seminarian. 

Radio people love to talk, and in my thousands of conversations with Eugene, we discussed everything from the most mundane to the most profound. Music, politics, history, languages, religion, recipes, medications, family and friends, fears and hopes, were just some of the topics. He could make me laugh in a heartbeat, not just with what he said, but the way he said it. I loved the tenor and cadence of his voice, (which, like his lifelong work, combined the sounds of Africa and the Caribbean), and the warmth with which he always greeted mine. I have never encountered a mind and soul like his -- nor so much courage, resilience, and passion for life -- and don’t expect to again. So, I say in Papiamentu, mi ta orguyoso di Bo, Eugene, mi ta sinti Bo falta hopi, i masha danki pa tur kos. 

Julia Goldrosen
Host/Producer, Africa Kabisa, WMBR 88.1fm, Cambridge, MA, www.africakabisa.org
Second-in-Command, Radio Eugene Godfried International, www.regiradio.org 
04.01.09

Afrocubaweb’s Eugene Godfried Dies at 56, 4/2/09
While we published a number of his articles, Eugene's reach went far beyond a mere web site. Though honored that our site is linked with his name, we have to point out that it would be more accurate to say AfroCuba's Eugene Godfried or even Radio Havana's Eugene Godfried. It is passing curious that as of 4/19/09, this brief mention is the only one in all of Cuba's media.

April 2, 2009 
By Bernie Dwyer, Radio Havana Cuba

HAVANA TIMES, April 2 — “You don’t find news sitting behind a desk”. These are the words that come to my mind when I hear the name of our dear, late colleague, Eugene Godfried (10/23/1952 - 3/29/2009). And that’s how he lived his life as a journalist. He was always out and about looking for news.

Every English speaking foreign dignitary that arrived in Havana was brought to Radio Havana Cuba’s studio to be interviewed by Eugene. In fact they didn’t have to be English speaking as Eugene could speak several languages fluently not least the native tongue of his own Caribbean island, Curacao.

He was known in all the embassies of the Caribbean countries in Havana and the invitations still arrive for Eugene to attend their national day celebrations. Such was his reach as a radio journalist that even though he moved on from Radio Havana several years ago, we still get telephone calls from all over the world looking for Godfried.

His is the name that invariably comes up wherever Radio Havana Cuba is mentioned.

His was the mellifluous voice that went out over the airwaves inviting listeners to tune in to his Caribbean Outlook Show with his seductive greeting “good evening, listening friends” as he introduced his guest of the day who could be a young student from Jamaica studying at the Latin American School of Medicine or the President of Trinidad and Tobago, all of whom he treated equally with his own unique mixture of respect and a healthy disregard for any signs of self-importance.

Godfried, who also managed his www.afrocubaweb.com web site, was a dynamic presence in the English Department of Radio Havana Cuba and as we grieve his departure from this world, we remember with love and affection the larger than life figure that filled our lives at Radio Havana Cuba.

We offer our sincere sympathies to his two beautiful daughters, Nohraya and Yomini who we know well from their visits to the radio station. The world is a lesser place without their father, Eugene Godfried.

-- www.havanatimes.org/?p=6974

Von Martin on Eugene Godfried, 3/31/09top
Von Martin of the WPFW radio show Caribbeana in Washington, DC. will will be doing a tribute to Eugene this Saturday from 7-10pm. You can listen to the stream at www.wpfw.org. He will also have the mp3 file available as a podcast at his website www.caribbeana.org

Greetings, it is indeed a pleasure to speak with you although it is at this sad time of the departure of my good brother and friend, Eugene. After a spell of tears, I have come to grips with life and thank God that he has graced me with the blessings of the encounter with Eugene. It was truly a blast, a dream I will never forget, because it was a reality check. Eugene and I met over a roti. This is an East Indian Trinidadian delicacy which well made is out of this world. We had gone to the same conference on Caribbean Carnival in Hartford, Connecticut, where we both delivered papers. On that Saturday night I was in the dining area eating a roti and in walks Eugene, I had actually two rotis so I offered him the other. He graciously accepted, saying “ROTI”. He took it to his room and the rest is history. Eugene met up with me the next morning and said “VON”, what a roti, I have never tasted anything so: “sweeeet” in my life. Man that was a roti. Immediately we started to compare the culinary landscape of the Caribbean, and thus our endeared friendship began. We spoke of every thinkable topic, music, all kinds, Latin and Caribbean music especially calypso, my favorites were his favorites, Sparrow, Kitchener and David Rudder, then politics, travel, racism in Latin America and most important women, Caribbean women, they were the most beautiful in the world. 

Eugene and I stayed in contact with each other; where ever he traveled we would communicate. We simply enjoyed each others personality and company. Our journeys in life in some parts crossed path, of course mine wasn’t as fantastic as his, but I think we both did much of the same tasks. We recognized we were doing similar functions and he gave me a sense of confidence in myself and I appreciated this so much. The brother was so humble, so kind and yet so powerful, and intellectual, a rich resource of cultural and political knowledge he was. Man this brother spoke more than seven languages, like Tony said he spoke Chinese, I too was in a restaurant where he spoke the language to the Chinese people. They marveled, “What the hell is this?” 

Finally we met in Washington DC, where he visited and was brought to speak. So naturally he appeared on my radio program “Caribbeana”. Eugene was in his element, we both clicked on air, my music tastes was for him impeccable. We enjoyed taking a part the philosophy of the songs the singers sang and relate them to facts of life. We both loved Motown. That was one of his passions; the other was the Cuban Son. Eugene used my work on radio relentlessly. He aired much of the program “Americas Today” I did for the OAS on his broadcast. Eugene recognized the importance radio played and still plays in our people’s lives. It is still one of the most critical mediums that reach the common man. Although he had all these rich attributes and responsibilities and his impact was so vast, he walked the walk of a common man. People who met him were always amazed at his knowledge and his consciousness about humanity and the way the world was going. 

I fully appreciate how he felt about me as a colleague and brother in the struggle. I remember on one occasion my wife and I had visited Cuba, Eugene was not around in Havana at the time, he was up in Guantanamo, he had to see me. He said I couldn’t come to Cuba and he was on the same island and not see us. He had difficulty in getting transportation to Havana, Eugene found a way to get to Havana to see us, the car was about dead when they got to Havana, but we were both satisfied and happy to have done it. He was that kind of person. To go out of his way for another, that is quite a remarkable feat. 

Whilst here in Washington DC, I took Eugene to a presentation hosted by one of the Caribbean national organizations, CAIO and Eugene was in his element. I had recommended Gordon Henderson founder of the band Exile One from Dominica to receive an award. Eugene met up Gordon and they were both surprised at the welcome sight of each other and so delighted with the encounter, especially as Eugene was present to see Gordon receive the award. They were both fascinated and impressed about each other’s work. Eugene by now was the fancy of all the ladies at the function. He pleaded ignorance, he said to me, “Von” I am not good looking, why are they so enamored with me. (Laughter). But you see Eugene was such a brilliant man; any person who was in his presence would be impacted upon. He has met Heads of States, Prime Ministers of the Caribbean, like Dr. Ralph Gonzales, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines; he worked tirelessly for the cause of our African brothers and sisters born in the Diaspora. I know the people of Cuba will have lost a most invaluable treasure for he was a voice that did so well for them, for all of us. Eugene gave a true interpretation and picture of Cuba that no one else has been able to give. The world now has a better vision of the plight of our African brothers and sisters in the struggle in Cuba and further in Latin America, a struggle that is coming to the fore soon, very soon and will be confronted by all. I am so grateful to Eugene for giving me the opportunity to increase and see my dream of immortality become real. By teaching me the Internet I now am able to deposit my work so that the young and others may share in the manner his is shared. Eugene was the first person who demonstrated to me that you can own a radio station without having thousands of dollars in your pocket. His webcasting of Radio Eugene Godfried International has been one of those revolutionary mechanisms which have touched thousands of peoples. Curacao has truly lost a most valuable son of the soil. The Caribbean has lost a major resource. I will continue to be a beacon of his friendship and impact for through my own website www.caribbeana.org. I will link people to his work. 

The struggle that he endured is really a beast, one he knew and recognized that could harm him, and it did. He spent more time helping enlightening people and did not spend time coping with himself, an action several of us in the struggle are guilty of. I can call names of friends including myself, facing health challenges. He cautioned me as well to take care of myself. I thank him for that. Family is his greatest resource, same as mine. 

I thank you Eugene, my friend, my brother, I will always remember you, for you will live on. You are simply gone visiting, I will hear you on “This is Radio Eugene Godfried”.

Von Martin

Willie Thompson on Eugene Godfried, 3/30/09top
Professor Emeritus Thompson writes for the San Francisco Bay View and other publication; he has been working Afro-Latrin issues for many years.

Eugene's passing is a great loss but not a complete loss since we have our oral and written records of his gallant struggles for the truth, the more awful the better since many will avoid the awful truth. Eugene would not. He pursued the awful truth of the inhuman and  unconscionable massacre of the enslaved Africans in the Western hemisphere as the only truth worth pursuing. He would not let it go for fame or fortune. We will often refer to his record and our memory of Eugene with this great trait in mind.
 
I met Eugene in Santiago in 2002. He came from Guantanamo with the Mayor to meet with a delegation of African North Americans that included the owner of Marcus Books in San Francisco and Oakland, Ray Richardson. We had dinner, drank a bit of wine and talked about the issues of race in Cuba. Eugene and I continued our work on the issue of race in the hemisphere for the next seven years. His passing is a great loss to the search for an understanding of the truth about race and his commitment to act on that truth, to change the conditions of race and other  oppressions, dishonesty, cowardice, etc.  It is also wonderful to know of his love of music.

Eugene is physically gone but his spirit and body of work remain with us.
 
Adios Amigo Eugene!
 
Willie Thompson, tu hermano Negro

Janet Jagan, Chicago Native Who Led Guyana, Dies at 88, New York Times, 3/29/09top
Janet Jagan was a personal friend of Eugene Godfried. Her husband, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, the chief minister and later president of Guyana, was Eugene's mentor and Eugene was his aide.

By SIMON ROMERO/

Janet Jagan, a daughter of a middle-class family from Chicago who became enmeshed in anticolonial politics in Guyana and rose to become that South American nation’s first female president, died Saturday at a government hospital in Georgetown, the Guyanese capital. She was 88.

Mrs. Jagan had suffered an abdominal aneurysm, Guyana’s health minister, Leslie Ramsammy, told Reuters.

Born Janet Rosenberg in 1920, she was a student nurse at Cook County Hospital when she met Cheddi Jagan, a dentistry student at Northwestern University and the eldest of 11 children of an Indo-Guyanese family of sugar cane workers. His grandparents had arrived in British Guiana from India as indentured laborers.

They married, despite the fierce opposition of her parents, who were Jewish, and in 1943 they moved to British Guiana, where he established a dental practice and they both became involved in radical politics. In 1950, they founded the People’s Progressive Party, and in 1953, in elections under a new Constitution providing greater home rule, Dr. Jagan became chief minister. But the Jagans’ Marxist ideas aroused the suspicions of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who sent warships and troops to topple the new government. The Jagans were jailed.

Even after the Jagans’ release, colonial police watched their every move. “I remember taking Cheddi Jr. to school one morning while a policeman was trailing me,” Mrs. Jagan once told The Stabroek News, a newspaper in Georgetown. “When I bade him goodbye, walked up the street and looked back, I saw him looking through the school window, watching the policeman trailing me.”

A deepening racial rift between Afro-Guyanese, many of them descendants of African slaves, and Indo-Guyanese followed Churchill’s intervention. Dr. Jagan returned to power in 1957, and Mrs. Jagan became labor minister.

Again, their politics, along with their admiration for Fidel Castro’s revolution in Cuba, caused alarm in a foreign capital — this time, Washington. According to long-classified documents, President John F. Kennedy ordered the Central Intelligence Agency in 1961 to destabilize the Jagan government. The C.I.A. covertly financed a campaign of labor unrest, false information and sabotage that led to race riots and, eventually, the ascension of Forbes Burnham, a black, London-educated lawyer and a leader of the People’s Progressive Party who had become a rival of the Jagans. He became president and prime minister in 1966.

After Guyana achieved independence that year, Mrs. Jagan remained active in public life as a member of Parliament and editor of The Mirror newspaper. Mr. Burnham veered far to the left, nationalizing companies, banning imports including basic foods, and declaring Guyana a “cooperative republic” in 1970.

By the end of Mr. Burnham’s rule, with his death in 1985, Guyana had become one of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest nations. In 1992, Dr. Jagan was elected president. During his time in office, Mrs. Jagan served briefly as ambassador to the United Nations.

After her husband died in 1997, she ran for president and won. At campaign rallies, her followers respectfully called her “bhowji,” a Hindi term meaning “elder brother’s wife.” But her government was plagued by street protests and tension with the opposition People’s National Congress.

After a mild heart attack in 1999, Mrs. Jagan stepped down, opening the way for her Moscow-educated finance minister, Bharrat Jagdeo, to become president, a position he still holds. This weekend, Mr. Jagdeo cut short a visit to the Middle East to return for a state funeral for Mrs. Jagan, according to news reports.

Mrs. Jagan is survived by her son, Dr. Jagan Jr., a daughter, Nadira Jagan-Brancier, and five grandchildren.

-- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/world/americas/30jagan.html?_r=2

Video on 1912top
Eugene Godfried Calls on Fidel Castro for Reflection and Action concerning the 1912 Massacre: YouTube Video

Peoples of the Caribbean and the world cannot reconcile with the fact that Jose Miguel Gomez and the Euro-iberospanish neocolonial Cuban elite are not censored for their criminal acts of massive killings of people of color in Cuba. In order to destroy the Partido Independiente de Color or the Independent Party of Color and its leaders Pedro Estenoz and Evaristo Garcia, these racist actions were executed with supervision of the US neocolonial and racist army stationed at the un-prestigious naval base of Guantanamo. Eternal glory to all those who lost their lives in that shameful military action and words of consolation to their families and descendents of this massacre which took place in May 1912.

Watch the video

See also 1912 Massacre on AfroCubaWeb

Video sobre El Doce
Eugene Godfried Ruega a Fidel Castro Reflexion y Accion sobre 1912: Video en la YouTube, en español

Los pueblos del Caribe y del mundo se conmovieron desde el mismo momento y hasta el presente sobre los acontecimientos sangrientes que tuvieron lugar en Cuba bajo las ordenes del Presidente Jose Miguel Gomez. Con el objetivo de destruir al Partido Independiente de Color y sus lideres entre ellos Pedro Ivonet, Evaristo Estenoz, Eugene Lacoste, las fuerzas oficiales organizaron una carniceria humana sin precedente en toda Cuba. La comunidad internacional censura para siempre Jose Miguel Gomez y todos los participantes, representantes de la clase dominante euroiberoespanola racista de Cuba. Gloria eterna y paz para los caidos y sus familias y descendientes en esta masacre. Para una edicion mas extensa de este tema les invitamos a que consulten www.regiradio.org y hagan click en www.selfcast.com y seleccionen regiradio tv live.

Vinculo al video en YouTube , en español

 Vease tambien La Masacre de 1912 sobre AfroCubaWeb

Caribbean Studies Association Certificate, 6/1/07top

CERTIFICADO DE PARTICIPACIÓN

   Se concede este certificado a Eugene Godfried por su distinguida participación y la presentación de su trabajo, “Broadening Black participation in Revolutionary Cuba (1986-2006)”, en la 32ª Conferencia de la Asociación de Estudios Caribeños realizado del 28 de mayo al 1 de junio de 2007 en Salvador da Bahia, Brasil.

"Broadening Black participation in Revolutionary Cuba" was first published on AfroCubaWeb as Reflections On Race And The Status Of People Of African Descent In Revolutionary Cuba, in 2001. 

 

Research Scholar at Michigan State University, 9/15/06

Eugene Godfried joined the African Atlantic Research Team (AART) at MSU.

He is planning a number of speaking engagements and he is participating in the following events so far:

Any applications for lectures or other types of encounters are accepted and could be done through us at eugene_AT_afrocubaweb.com (replace _AT_ with @).

Words of thanks on the occasion of my illness, 9/06top

Indeed there could never be sufficient words to express my gratitude for all international solidarity which I received during my illness since January, 2005.

I acknowledge the hospitality and care given by Dr. Campos of Hospital Calixto Garcia in Havana, Cuba, and Doctora Olga, an outstanding internist and homeopathist in Havana Cuba. My Physio-Theraphist, Miguel, also of the Jesus Maria Center forAlternative Medicina, Havana Vieja, Havana, Cuba.

In Guadeloupe, Dr. Claude Makouke dispensed his precious care and coordinated the reeducation process and the introduction of prosthesis. All friends and colleagues of the UPLG.

In the United States, I benefited from countless acts of support and personal care as well as financial assistance from Tony van der Meer, Alvin Skipper Bailey, Julia Goldrosen, WBAI New York, Dr. Willy Thompson and many others. 

From Curazao, John Djaoen, the Hubentur 70 youths, my family, Crisma Merien, and all others who either personally or through phone showed their attention and love.

From the Dominican Republic, Miguel Mejia, minister of state and long time friend, came one Saturday personally to visit me in Miramar, la Habana, Cuba.

Prime minister Ralph Goncalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines gave me personal attention during his visit to Cuba. A long time well appreciated brother.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of the Commonwealth of Dominica also attended me in exclusiveness during his stay in la Habana, Cuba, showing his concern and solidarity with my health conditions then.

The Jamaican Ambassador, Mrs. Elinor, has proven to be more than a diplomat, but family of mine and stood with me all the time under those difficult moments.

Reverend Lucius Walker of the Pastors for Peace, USA, slipped away from his heavy schedule with President Fidel Castro Ruz, to come and share moments of solidarity with me in an apartment sponsored by his organization just for me.

I can continue like this thanking professor Kwesi Prah of South Africa, professor Tony Nzeako of Nigeria, Kwaku Danso Boafo, former ambassador and minister of Ghana and many, many others of the African continent for their words of care.

In order not to run the risk to forget your names, I beg your pardon if I did, but urge you to forgive me and accept my well meant love and appreciation for you all personally.

Thank you,

Eugene Godfried

Scheduletop

2006

11/8/06

CLACS Advanced (Charla) Seminar Series
 
Cuba in a Caribbean Perspective, Mr. Eugene Godfried, Radio Broadcast Journalist in Caribbean, African and European Affairs and MSU Visiting Scholar
 
Room 303 International Center, University of Michigan, Lansing, MI 3.00 - 400 p.m.

2004

Thursday 8/11/04 @ 5 PM: Eugene Godfried will be interviewed on RADIO WURD, 900 AM, Philadephia, PA, on the show "CARIBBEAN MAGAZINE", by the host, LLOYD CUMMINGS, who is of Jamaican descent

 Reception at the African American Master Artists in Residency Program (AAMARP), 7/25/04 at 4:30 PM at 76 Atherton St, Jamaica Plain, MA, 4th floor near Stony Brook Orange line T stop. Open to the public.

2001

2/24-2/28/01 Whittier College, Romance Languages Los Angeles, CA
3/23 - 3/24/01 Medgar Evars College Brooklyn, NY
3/28/01 Association of Ethnic Studies Conference New Orleans, LA
4/2/01 Roxbury Community College Roxbury, MA
4/01 Bay Area California
4/01 Bates College Maine

Reflections On Race And The Status Of People Of African Descent In Revolutionary Cuba, 1/01top

Reflections On Race & The Status Of People Of African Descent In Revolutionary Cuba

By Eugène Godfried
Caribbean specialist & Cuban radio - journalist 
Radio Havana Cuba and Radio Progreso 
November, 2000

Dr. Fidel Castro's speech at the Riverside Church on September 8, 2000 provided the leader of the Cuban revolution the opportunity to again publicly take an official stand on the question of race in revolutionary Cuba. He spoke about the current social conditions of the people of African descent living in that Caribbean nation.

I have been observing official Cuban policies and positions with regards to blacks in that country for over 30 years. I say Dr. Castro again took a stand because this was not the first time: he also did so on several other occasions, including the Third Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba in1985, where I personally participated as an official guest. There he openly admitted that racial discrimination still existed in his country and that measures needed to be taken against it. Unfortunately, his speech was not published in the final report. This is contrary to the practice of other Congresses before and after this one, where the reports were published in booklet form. I don't know what conclusion ought to be drawn out of this experience of sheer omission. This type of carelessness could strengthen some critics who say that the leader of the revolution is occasionally being censored by certain retrograde elements who are serving him as advisors. 

[The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of Radio Havana or Radio Progreso. To contact the author: eugeneg@afrocubaweb.com]

For the rest of this fascinating article, see the full article at

afrocubaweb.com/eugenegodfried/reflectionsonrace.htm

This was first published on The Black World Today:

Part I - www.tbwt.com/views/feat/feat6093.asp
Part II - www.tbwt.com/views/feat/feat6099.asp
Part III - www.tbwt.com/views/feat/feat7005.asp: The State Of Self - Awareness Of Blacks In Cuba
Part IV - http://www.tbwt.com/content/article.asp?articleid=16

This site, www.tbwt.com, the Black World Today, is a very fine site worthy of close study.

Eugene Godfried Jan Feb 2001 US tour

Eugene is in the US and Canada in January and February with an in-depth presentation on the subject of his article, Cuba In A Caribbean Perspective: A critical historical review of the position and role of Cubans of African descent in the process of social change. 

Radio Havana, Cuba: Caribbean Outlooktop

Eugene Godfried's show on Radio Havana, Cuba, is called Caribbean Outlook and is at the following times:

Mondays and Thursdays
8:40, 9:40, 10:40, 11:40, 12:40 EST

It's a 20 minute segment available live on line and on short wave:

Live on-line at www.radiohc.cu/homeing.htm  then click on "Audio" (in the list on the left side),  then click on "broadcasting" on that screen.   

On Short - wave radio, at 6000 or 9820 Mhz  (Frequencies subject to change, listed on www.radiohc.cu).


Godfried US Tour - 5/00top

Eugène Godfried will give a seminar at Brown University May 4, 2000.  He is available until 6/6, and is giving seminars on the following topics below.  He is visiting NY, Boston, LA, Albuquerque, and Washington, DC.

1) The cultural identity of the caribbean with a special focus on Cuba.......

 2) Popular culture and music in the caribbean: resistance and liberation....

Note: with regards to Cuba, Mr. Godfried will openly discuss both themes.  He will also discuss the case of the AfroCubans before and after the revolution from a culturological point of view.

Those interested in having him lead a seminar or make a presentation elsewhere in the US, contact acw_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]info@afrocubaweb.com

Eugene Godfried Lecture Series - 5/99top

As a lecturer and visiting professor, I have been lecturing on the cultural identity of the Caribbean with a special focus on Cuba as the largest among the island nations of the Caribbean.

A main theme in these lectures is a broad historical perspective of the role of popular culture and specifically popular dance music in the liberation struggles of the Caribbean people. In this context, cultural manifestations like the authentic creole languages and the several musical genres created by the African Diaspora in the Caribbean are highlighted as revolutionary expressions against colonial and neocolonial domination.

I gave lectures on these topics from August to December 1998 at the following institutions:

University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Northern Colorado at Greeley
University of California at Berkeley
Merritt College, Oakland
Oberlin College, Ohio
Trinity College, Connecticut
Columbia University
Union Theological Seminary
Brown University, Providence
University of Georgia at Athens
SAM University, Talahassee
Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas

In 1999, from February to May, I lectured on these same topics at:

University of California at Berkeley
San Francisco State University
University of Michigan at Lansing
UMass, Boston
Roxbury Community College, Boston
Florida International University

I also conducted a number of radio shows on these topics at stations such as KGMU and KUVO in Boulder, Colorado, KPFA in Berkeley, California, WBAI in New York and other university and community stations in Oberlin, Providence, Atlanta, Athens and elsewhere.   I have appeared on similar programs in Santa Lucia and Jamaica.

I am open to similar collaborations for future trips in your various countries.

Peace, Equality, and Cooperation

Eugene Godfried
Radio Havana Cuba

[As an example of what Eugene talks about, we can cite the following:

"Radio Havana's Eugene Godfried points out how one of Arsenio Rodriguez' enduring tunes is "Adorenla como Marti" which deals with the theme of the AfroCuban Mambi fighters in the Army of Liberation at the end of the last century - they formed the backbone of that Army.  The title refers to the need to respect the AfroCuban leaders who motivated the masses to struggle against Spain, leaders Arsenio names in his song -- Antonio Maceo, Quintin Banderas, Flor Crombet, Bermudez, and others." It is in code, using the feminine, so that the government would not come down on him.]


From Eugene Godfried, a conscious letter on Son - 5/99top

Dear Colleague:

Thank you for receiving these materials on the Cuban musical group, Conjunto Chappottín y sus Estrellas. I am sure you will be impressed by the group and encourage and desire that you share them with others.

I have persistently used the terminology son throughout my discussion of Conjunto Chappottin y sus Estrellas. You need to know my reasons. Certainly most in the US are more acquainted with the word salsa to denote a Latin, Cuban, Puerto Rican musical tradition. The history of the music entry into main-stream commercial production informs me to purposefully use the language of son. Remember, for various well-known reasons, music promoters and the record industries of the sixties began to refer to Cuban popular dance music as salsa. This appropriation was obviously made to suit commercial purposes designed to attract European and European American customers as well as to perpetuate the delegitimation/confusion of all things African.

The popular Fania All Stars and others were created in New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico. However, the sounds produced by these groups were drawn/stolen from the repertoire and anthology of Cuban musical groups. Their creations served as the foundation for others success and the projection of the salsa initiatives into the world market.

Several musicians and bands, financially supported by those circles, have successfully issued versions of music created by Cuban son groups like Conjunto Chappottín and his Stars. A few we can mention are Pete el Conde Rodriguez, Johnny Pacheco, Gran Combo, Sonora Poncena, and Monguito el Unico.

My desire while in the US is to introduce the new generation of Conjunto Chappottín and his stars as a means of them defending their historical repertoire. I believe the introduction will also acquaint US listening audiences with new developments that are coming from present-day performances of the legitimate African Cuban son.

I sincerely wish you much success in your own work and hope that this little project contributes to that success. May you be blessed with good health to achieve all your lifetime aims and objectives since conscious and militant young people like yourself deserve all of this and more.

Eugene Godfried

Representative/producer
Conjunto Chappottín y sus Estrellas - Chappottín and his Stars

top
Services

Saturday, April 4, 2009
Church of Steenrijk
Willemstad, Curaçao

Condolences 1PM - 3:30 PM
Ceremony 3:30 PM
Last place of rest: Janwe Cemetery

See report.

Contacting Eugene Godfried's Family

nohrayagodfried_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]

yominigodfried_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]

N. Godfried
West Groot St. Joris 92
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles

 

Contacting AfroCubaWeb

Electronic mail
acw_AT_afrocubaweb.com [replace _AT_ with @]

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