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Fearless in pursuit of real change- story of a Grenadian revolutionary

👋🏾 Hey LUI family, hope you all are keeping up with your mental wellness and self care! ☺️💚

Maurice Rupert Bishop (1944-1983) hails from the strikingly beautiful Caribbean island- Grenada 🇬🇩.

If you missed our first two features, don’t forget to check them out! ☺️

Ready for a history lesson? 🤔 Buckle up..because we’re going to dive right in! 😝

Exuding excellence at a young age

From the age of 6, Bishop was raised in the quaint city of St. George’s. #Grenada

It was here that his passion for politics, sociology, and history was born.

As a high school student at Presentation Brother’s College, Bishop’s budding interest in these fields was amplified through his involvement in numerous student-led organizations and interest groups. His excellence extended beyond leadership. In addition to being a passionate leader, Bishop was a decorated scholar!

In recognition of his outstanding academic achievements, he was awarded a gold medal upon graduation from high school. His achievements did not end there. In 1969, he earned his Law degree from the University of London. As a young lawyer, Bishop was involved in volunteer work. He also provided legal defense to nurses at Grenada General Hospital, who were striking for improved hospital facilities at the time.

Catalyst for change as a Youth Leader!

In 1962, Bishop and his friend Bernard Coard, founded the Grenada Assembly of Youth Fighting For Youth, in an effort to spark meaningful political discourse amongst the youth of Grenada. He was an ardent political advocate, who was fraught with passion!

Leader of the New Jewel Movement- a bloodless coup

Bishop’s most notable achievement was his central role in the New Jewel Movement (NMJ) - a Marxist Leninist Vanguard party.

In 1979, the NMJ party led by Bishop overthrew reigning Prime Minister of Grenada Sir Eric Gairy, in an armed revolution. Although he had led Grenada to independence from the British in 1974, Eric Gairy‘s regime was complicated by civil strife. He was head of the Grenada United Labor Party.

Bishop served as the Prime Minister by decree under The People’s Revolutionary Government Of Grenada until its dissolution in 1983.

Unconventional leadership and demise - Second Prime Minister of Grenada

Since he rose to power through a coup, Bishop’s tenure as Prime Minister of Grenada was far from smooth.

Unfortunately, he was met with resistance from members of his own party, including former friend Bernard Coard. In 1983, Bishop was captured and subsequently executed when he refused to succumb to their demands that he share power.

Following Maurice Bishop’s execution, American military troops invaded Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury) under the leadership of U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The NMJ government was overthrown and the individuals responsible for Bishop’s and other NMJ leaders’ deaths, were tried and convicted.

In 2009, the Grenada International Airport was renamed Maurice Bishop International Airport, in honor of this exceptional Caribbean National.

Closing thoughts...

....that brings us to the end of feature #3 🥳

I must admit, I had quite a bit of fun researching and then writing this post. Having studied in Grenada for 2 years, this topic felt close to home.

I gained a better understanding of the individuals who were vital to the progression of this beautiful nation I deem a second home. It felt amazing to delve deeper into the history of Grenada.

It was even more awesome to identify and celebrate these achievements by individuals of color during a time when all odds were stacked against us!

We’d love some feedback from you!

What did you think? Let us know what you think about how we can be inspired by his story.

If we missed anything you felt was important to mention, feel free to leave a comment below💚


Senuri D.

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