Book on race, ethnicity to be launched this week

Guyana Chronicle
April 23, 2000

A BOOK on race and ethnicity in Guyana is to be launched this week in Georgetown.

Editor, Mr Kampta Karran, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, said the launching will be 1700 hrs (5 p.m.) Wednesday at the Tower Hotel.

Information Minister, Mr Moses Nagamootoo, and Mr Vincent Alexander, of the main opposition People's National Congress (PNC) will be among speakers at the ceremony.

Karran last week presented a copy of 'Race and Ethnicity in Guyana: Introductory Readings' to Nagamootoo.

The Guyana Information Services (GIS) said Karran "is well placed to edit this collection which is probably the first race and ethnicity reader of its kind in Guyana".

"The student of society, our policy makers and all those who are interested in peaceful co-existence would find this work both useful and challenging", the agency said.

It said "race and ethnic relations in Guyana are at a critical juncture, with all parties calling for major constitutional reforms to ensure equitable participation in the body politic".

GIS said the book is timely and "its message urgent".

It investigates the roots of racial and ethnic divisions in colonial and post independence Guyana.

"However, unlike many previous publications, it proposes solutions to the protracted communal strife that has dominated the society since its inception, as well as suggesting new intellectual paradigms within which social and political changes can be implemented", the agency said.

It offers a comprehensive and non-partisan analysis of racial, ethnic insecurities, integrating historical, economic, political, cultural and religious perspectives.

The collection argues that not only can the threat of social disintegration be neutralised but that pathways to redemption exist in a plenitude of forms.

"The present volume amounts to an innovative and challenging contribution to the theoretical and practical discourses in the fields of race and ethnic studies and conflict resolution", the agency stated.

Karran was a teacher in Guyana and later an academic staff at the University of Guyana.

He was a Planner at the State Planning Secretariat. Before he left Guyana to pursue further studies in England in 1998 on a Cheivening Scholarship, he served as the Secretary of the Race Relations Task Force.

The author is a graduate from UG and the University of Warwick.

Among contributors to the collection are Professor Clive Thomas, Dr Iris Sukdeo, Dr Kenneth King, Nagamootoo, Alexander, Mr Eusi Kwayana, Mr Manzoor Nadir, Mr Ravi Dev, Sister Noel Menezes and Ms Andaiye.

The public is invited to participate in this event.