Aniyah Williams



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Aniyah Williams, Health and Wellness
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Marcus Watson, Africana Studies

When we think of 1960's America, the Civil Rights Movement is most likely to cross one's mind. But unknown to many is that there was a Black Power Movement as well. Even fewer people are aware that this powerful movement emerged in the Caribbean, where struggling independent nations identified with racial inequalities in the United States. Thus, my research expands coverage of the Black Power Movement to include Caribbean people and their contribution. Focusing specifically on Trinidad and Tobago during the Black Power era, this study asks how the movement's lasting legacy continues to be relevant today for social change and in what ways today's youth are mirroring their predecessors' efforts to enact change. Drawing on interviews with eight members of prominent youth organizations, as well as secondary literature to extract background information, I find historical parallels between Trinidad's present generation of youth activists and those from the 1970's Black Power era. For example, youth in Trinidad are currently gravitating toward artistic activism, specifically the use of spoken word. Over the course of one exhibition slam, you are likely to hear verses that address topics such as police brutality, gender-based violence, racial justice, and climate change. Similarly, youth activists from the 1970s used Calypso music to protest inequalities inflicted upon them and directly address politicians on these social injustices. My findings indicate a range of strategies and ideals that can be globally implemented in fighting social injustices and unfair biases. This research was presented during the Black History Week programming of the Africana Studies Interdisciplinary Unit in February 2021.

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Youth Activism in the Caribbean: Then and Now
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