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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Black Power Revolution, also known as the "Black Power Movement", 1970 Revolution, Black Power Uprising and February Revolution, was an attempt by a number of social elements, people and interest groups in Trinidad and Tobago to force socio-political change. Between 1968 and 1970 the movement gained strength and was greatly influenced by the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 1960s. 

The National Joint Action Committee was formed out of the Guild of Undergraduates at the St. Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies, under the leadership of Geddes Granger (now Makandal Daaga), NJAC and the Black Power movement appeared as a serious challenge to Prime Minister Eric Williams' authority. This was coupled with a growing militancy by the Trade Union movement, led by George Weekes of the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union, Clive Nunez of the Transport and Industrial Workers Union and Basdeo Panday, then a young trade union lawyer and activist. The Black Power Revolution began with a 1970 Carnival band named Pinetoppers whose presentation entitled The Truth about Africa included portrayals of "revolutionary heroes" including Fidel Castro, Stokely Carmichael and Tubal Uriah Butler. This was followed by a series of marches and protests. Williams countered with a broadcast entitled I am for Black Power. He introduced a 5% levy to fund unemployment reduction and later established the first locally-owned commercial bank. However, this intervention had little impact on the protests.

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