Prof Tony Martin dies

Well-known Trinidadian professor Dr Tony Martin, who recently launched a book making the claim that the first Indian came to the Caribbean in 1595 and not 1838 as is widely believed, died on Thursday night at the West Shore Medical Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago.

Professor Martin, who was 70, was also a Guyanese citizen through marriage.

Martin, who was former Professor Emeritus at Wellesley College, taught for most of his life and had teaching positions at the University of Michigan-Flint, the Cipriani Labour College (Trinidad), and St Mary’s College (Trinidad), according to trinicenter.com. He had also been a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota, Brandeis University, Brown University, and the Colorado College and also spent a year as an honorary research fellow at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad.

Tony Martin
Tony Martin

The news website said Professor Martin had written, compiled or edited 14 books, including Caribbean History: From Pre-Colonial Origins to the Present (2012); Amy Ashwood Garvey: Pan-Africanist, Feminist and Mrs. Marcus Garvey No. 1, Or, A Tale of Two Amies (2007), Literary Garveyism: Garvey, Black Arts and the Harlem Renaissance (1983), and the classic study of the Garvey Movement, Race First: the Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (1976).

Most of his books dealt with Marcus Garvey, on whom he had written his PhD dissertation, Martin told Stabroek News in an interview, which was published on May 12, 2012.

However, he described his latest book, Caribbean History: From Pre-colonial Origins to the Present, as the culmination of the 34 years of his teaching, research, interaction with students and reflections.

Martin had also stated that for his entire 34 years of teaching, he was never able to find a survey book on Caribbean history that he was happy with, and he felt the work filled the need for what he would call a “proper textbook” on the Caribbean. “I have tried to give it a much more Caribbean focus than any of the others; I have tried to include a lot of information which was never mentioned in other books,” he had said.

Martin, an Emeritus Professor of Africana studies, was also an avid book collector. It was this hobby that led him to pick up a book by George F Warner that he would later discover to contain “startling pieces of new information,” including that the first East Indian immigrant came to the Caribbean in 1595, not 1838. “This is one of the startling new facts that I have discovered researching this book,” he had said.

Warner’s book, titled The Voyage of Robert Dudley, 1899 and which was reprinted in 1967, said the first Indian arrived in Trinidad in February, 1595 in a very unlikely manner. According to the professor, it opened up the possibility of other areas where the experiences are totally unknown. His book reproduced Dudley’s diary of his voyage.

Professor Martin’s book also contained an interesting record of the late President Cheddi Jagan’s appearance before the Face the Nation programme in the United States, as well as a brief discussion of the Walter Rodney saga. Along the way, Professor Martin said he relied on the work of several Guyanese historians, including Walter Rodney, James Rose, David Granger, Tota Mangar, Kimani Nehusi, Winston McGowan and others.

Professor Martin, a Trinidadian, said he became a Guyanese citizen as a result of marrying a Guyanese woman, from whom he subsequently separated. At the time of the interview, he was spending every other week in Guyana so he could have spent significant time with his then five-year-old son. At the time he was sharing custody of his son. It was his first child and he called the boy his unlikely partner during the writing of the book, saying he kept him young.

More in Local News

default placeholder

Two charged over murder of Mahdia miner

Shane Mc Almont, 33 years and Marlon Joseph called ‘Short Man’, 28 years, both of 111 Miles Mahdia, Potaro were charged today with Murder and Accessory to Murder respectively committed on Shawn Clarke between 2016-07-10 to 2016-07-22 at 111 Miles Mahdia, Potaro, the police say.

default placeholder

Two St Lucia cub scouts injured in accident

The police say they are investigating a serious accident which occurred about 1210h. today at Woolford Avenue, involving motor car PSS 1236 and two St.

default placeholder

Lightning suspected in power outage -GPL

At approximately 20:56 hours last evening, the Guyana Power and Light says a line trip along two Kingston feeders (F3 and F4) resulted in an interruption in the supply of electricity to customers in Kingston, Cummingsburg, Albertown, Lacytown and Werk-en-Rust.

Bharrat Jagdeo

Jagdeo stands by NY statements

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo last night stood by statements he had made in New York about discrimination against Indo-Guyanese which the APNU+AFC government has described as race-baiting.

City Hall

Despite higher revenue, city still faces deficit

City Hall amassed a whopping $1.29 billion in revenue for the first six months of the year but continues to operate at a deficit and some city councillors are frustrated at their inability to access detailed information on the city’s expenditure.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the audience 
 

Gov’t condemns Jagdeo for race baiting

The Government of Guyana (GoG) yesterday condemned Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo for “race baiting,” after he claimed that there is “an assault on people of Indian origin” during a speech at an event in New York recently.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: