A documentary film on the 1970 black power uprising in Trinidad and Tobago that triggered profound changes in the country’s social structure, will be screened in New York for the first time on Thursday afternoon, June 23. The screening of “’70: Remembering a Revolution” will take place at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, commencing at 5:00 p.m.
The screening is being sponsored by the Caribbean Awareness Committee. In a statement, the committee said presenting the film in the New York area was important for addressing “a silence and lack of critical discourse that has surrounded the 1970 Revolution in Trinidad and Tobago.”
One of the key figures in the 1970 rebellion, Makandal Daaga, who is now the Trinidad and Tobago government’s CARICOM cultural ambassador extraordinaire, is expected to attend the screening and participate in a panel discussion that will follow.
“’70: Remembering a Revolution” examines how a handful of students, unemployed youth and workers changed the course of history in Trinidad and Tobago. It explores the root causes of the rebellion, as young people took to the streets under the banner of black power, challenging what they saw as a continuation of the status quo in the society, even after the country had been Independent for almost eight years. The general upheaval expanded to include an army mutiny, and it is oftentimes regarded by historians as the sternest test faced by the government of then Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams.
Roger Toussaint, former president of the Transport Workers Union and a founding member of the Caribbean Awareness Committee, who will also be a participant in the panel discussion after the screening, was a youthful activist in Trinidad when those historic developments erupted in 1970. He said: “Like me, a whole generation from Trinidad and Tobago owes its social commitment and much of its accomplishments to the 1970 Rebellion.”
Other scheduled participants for the panel discussion include Professor Harvey Neptune of Temple University and the film’s producer Stephen Cadiz, who is Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Trade and Industry.
Cadiz produced andAlex de Verteuil and Elizabeth Topp directed while Luke Paddington edited “’70: Remembering a Revolution.”
Admission to the screening is free.