Nigel Westmaas

Associate Professor of Africana studies Nigel Westmaas unearthed and published, with an introductory assessment, a significant speech made by a pioneer Guyanese and Caribbean labor leader Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow in March 1932.  The Westmaas article, “Hubert Critchlow and the nexus between Christianity and Socialism” was published in Guyana’s national newspaper, the Stabroek News, on Aug. 20.

The 1932 speech by the Guyanese labour leader adopts a comparative assessment of the theory and practice of Christians in so far as the interests of the Guyanese working class were concerned in that time. In arguing that Christ was a true socialist, the Critchlow speech appears to gently chide the colonial Guyana church establishment for moving away from the “socialistic” actions in the life and work of Jesus Christ.

Westmaas said that the speech was ahead of its time, bravely offering the kind of strategic hope against poverty that has been lost in the message and lack of strategic agency of past and and contemporary regimes in Guyana and the Caribbean.

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