UTT awards Montano and Eintou Springer honorary doctorates
Soca star Machel Montano and celebrated playwright Pearl Eintou Springer were granted honorary doctorates by the University of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday.
Springer, who gave a speech in response to her honorary distinction, heaped praise upon UTT for their selection of awardees, pointing to her inclusion as well as Montano’s and former educator/politician Roy Augustus.
“This synergy of awardees here today is so amazing today. Someone at UTT is serious about getting our stories told,” said Springer, who explained that Montano, as he has grown in his career, has taken more opportunities to reference key moments and figures of our history like Joe Talmana, a legendary stick fighter.
Talmana, who played a major role during the Cannes Brulées Riots in the late 1800s, was referenced in Montano’s 2017 collaboration with Bunji Garlin “Buss Head.”
However, Springer lamented, “Sadly Minister Garcia, that history is absent from our education system.”
Springer said the lack of connection to our history contributed to “social apathy, criminality.”
“It worries me when I go into schools to see ignorance of self,” said Springer.
“The best policing cannot fill the void in the being of our children. Who will teach them through the plays, poems? …Who will infiltrate their new technologies with our stories? Who will be our Stan Lee and tell them skree, the story of the original Spiderman; Anansi?” asked Springer, who called for local history to be integrated into the school curriculum.
Springer also used the platform to call for further recognition for the Mighty Shadow, who passed away last month.
“When will our leaders recognise Shadow as the philosopher the people have already crowned?” said Springer.
Springer and Montano shared an embrace after she received her doctorate.
Some 1,700 graduands were celebrated by UTT during the graduation events over the past two days. (TT Guardian)