16th Annual Eric E. Williams Memorial Lecture

Top Quote This year, the African & African Diaspora Studies Program's Distinguished Africana Scholars Lecture hosts the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Kenny Anthony. "Reparations and 21st Century Development: The Silence Is Broken and We Speak to the World" promises to address CARICOM'S recent political stance on slave trade reparations. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 13, 2014 - MIAMI, FL. - The 16th Annual Eric E. Williams Memorial Lecture at Florida International University's Modesto Maidique Campus (11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida) will take place at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center, on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

    This has been made possible by Eric Williams' 1944 groundbreaking study on the abolition and emancipation of British West Indian slavery, Capitalism and Slavery, which re-framed the historiography of the British trans-Atlantic slave trade and its concomitant European incarnations. Popularly referred to as The Williams Thesis, the landmark text established the contribution of Caribbean slavery to the development of both Britain and America. The book has been translated into eight languages, including Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish and this year, Korean. It continues to inform today's ongoing debate and remains "years ahead of its time this profound critique is still the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development," according to the New York Times.

    Prime Minister Anthony has enjoyed an active political life for many years, holding numerous portfolios in several administrations. In May 1997, in a resounding victory and with the largest ever majority in Saint Lucia's electoral history, Mr. Anthony formed the first Labour Government of his country in sixteen years. He has held this position three times since. The author of several legal articles, particularly pertaining to the Caribbean, Anthony's accomplishments are many: Barrister-at-Law; high school teacher; tutor and lecturer at the University of the West Indies, doing a one-year stint there as Director of its Caribbean Justice Improvement Project; former member of the Law Reform Commission of Barbados; Special Advisor in the FIU Eric Williams Lecture Saint Lucia Ministry of Education and Culture; Leader of the Opposition; and General Counsel for CARICOM in Guyana. He is also an Honorary Member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and was head of the Commonwealth of Nations observer mission in the August 2007 election in Sierra Leone.

    Established in 1999, FIU's annual Eric Williams Lecture honors the distinguished Caribbean statesman, consummate academic and historian, and author of several other books. Eric E. Williams was also the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and Head of Government for a quarter of a century until his death in 1981. He led the country to Independence from Britain in 1962 and onto Republicanism in 1976.

    Among prior Eric Williams Memorial Lecture speakers have been: the late John Hope Franklin, one of America's premier historians of the African-American experience; Kenneth Kaunda, former President of the Republic of Zambia; Cynthia Pratt, Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas; Mia Mottley, Attorney General of Barbados; Beverly Anderson-Manley, former First Lady of Jamaica; Portia Simpson Miller, now Prime Minister of Jamaica; the celebrated civil rights activist Angela Davis; and prize-winning Haitian author Edwige Danticat.

    The Lecture, which seeks to provide an intellectual forum for the examination of pertinent issues in Caribbean and African Diaspora history and politics, is co-sponsored by FIU's: Department of English, Latin American and Caribbean Center, AADS Graduate Students Association, Caribbean Students Association, Council of Student Organizations, Student Government Association; Milton Adams/Karen M. Linger; Lenor Ancilla Armstrong; Reginald Barker; Elliot & Sandra Bastien; Bilmor With Advertising Specialties, Inc.; Rendell Brewster; Dr. & Mrs. Bradford Brown; Anthony Bryan; Leslye Danglade; Hayden Davis; Dr. & Mrs. Dennis Dove; Leon & Eunice Francis; Lew E. & Jill Garland; Joan Hinkson; Hometrust Mortgage Co.; The Rev. Canon & Mrs. Winston Joseph; Joy's Roti Delight; Leroy & Anne Lashley; Miami Dade College; Neki Mohan; Ronnie & Sumin Quan-Vie; Keith & June Richards; Lenny & Gemme Roach; Mervyn Solomon; T&T Community at Christ the King; Radcliff Thomas; Trinidad and Tobago Independence Ball Committee, Inc.

    The Lecture is also supported by The Eric Williams Memorial Collection Research Library, Archives and Museum at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad and Tobago campus), which was inaugurated by former U.S. Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell in 1998. It was named to UNESCO's prestigious Memory of the World Register in 1999.

    Books by and about Eric Williams will be available for purchase and signing at the Lecture. For more information, please contact 305-348-6860/905-9999 or africana ( @ ) fiu dot edu.