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On this day in 1962, Trinidad and Tobago proclaimed its independence from Britain by the People’s National Movement (PNM) founder. Colonized into the British Empire in 1797, the country fought for years to be independent. After the Federation of the British Antilles ended in 1961, Trinidad and Tobago gained its independence. At 12 a.m. on August 31, the British flag was lowered and Trinidad and Tobago flag was hoisted.

Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister Eric Williams famously said in 1962, “Democracy means equality for all in education, in the public service and in private employment… Democracy means the protection of the weak against the strong… Democracy means the responsibility of the government to its citizens, the protection of the citizen from the exercise of arbitrary power… Democracy means the freedom of worship for all and the subordination of the right of any race to the overriding right of the human race.”

In honor of Trinidad and Tobago’s independence check out some of the more noteworthy people of Trinidad and Tobago descent.

Happy Independence Day Trinidad and Tobago! Your Favorite Celebs And Public Figures From The Island  was originally published on

1. Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

(Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images for The Meadows Music & Arts Festival)

2. Nia Long

Nia Long

(Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

3. Romany Malco

4. Jackée Harry

5. Alfonso Ribeiro

6. Lorraine Toussaint

7. Heather Headley

8. NBA Player Mike Nibby

9. Legendary Heavyweight Kickboxer

10. Track Star And 4-Time Olympic Medal Winner Ato Bolden

11. Teyana Taylor

12. Teyana Taylor

13. Trinidad James