Eusi Kwayana

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Eusi Kwayana, formerly Sydney King (born 4 April 1925),[1] is a Guyanese politician. A cabinet minister in the People's Progressive Party (PPP) government of 1953, he was detained by the British Army in 1954. Later he left the PPP to form ASCRIA (African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa), a Pan-Africanist grassroots political group that, after a brief flirtation with the People's National Congress (PNC) of Forbes Burnham, fused into the Working People's Alliance (WPA).

Biography[edit]

He was born in Lusignan, Guyana, and his family moved to Buxton when he was aged 7. He became a primary school teacher at the age of 15. In 1956 he founded and became principal of County High School, later renamed Republic Cooperative High School, in Buxton.[2]

During the 1940s he began to be politically active at the village level. Around 1947 (at that time known as Sydney King), he became a member of a small group of politicians, led by Cheddi Jagan, who formed the People’s Progressive Party. After the PPP won in Guyana’s first election under universal adult suffrage, Kwayana became Minister of Communication and Works.[3] After the British government suspended the constitution and threw the PPP out of office, in October, 1953, Kwayana and others were political detainees for fear that they would cause civil unrest. He was an executive member of both the PPP and subsequently the (PNC).

Kwayana co-founded the African Society for Racial Equality (ASRE), and later, the African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa (ASCRIA) which in 1974 became part of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA). He was a member of the WPA's collective leadership and worked closely with the late Walter Rodney.[3]

He is the author of several books, including Next Witness, The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics, Scars of Bondage, Guyana: No Guilty Race, Buxton in Print and Memory, Morning After, Genesis of a Nation: The Indo-Guyanese Contribution to Social Change (in Guyana) and Walter Rodney: His Last Days and Campaigns. Kwayana also wrote the lyrics of the party songs of Guyana's three leading policial parties, the PPP, PNC and WPA.[2][3][4]

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