Yesterday, June 13, marks 33 years since world-renowned historian, academic, and political activist, Walter Rodney was killed on Bent Street in Georgetown. Up until this moment there has been no credible enquiry into this dastardly act of cowardice. In the interest of justice, it is high time that every Guyanese and every decent human being the world over renew the repeated call made by his family, the WPA, and activists around the world for an impartial, independent, international enquiry into the circumstances surrounding his murder.
Because most of the population today was either very young, or were not born when he was killed, I have included a brief timeline taken from his biography.
1. He was born in Georgetown, Guyana on March 23, 1942.
2. He came from a humble, working-class family.
3. He won scholarships to Queen’s College, UWI, and the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
4. At the age of 24 he completed PhD with honours in African history.
5. His PhD dissertation was published in 1970 by Oxford University Press under the title A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545-1800.
6. He was an active partisan of the African Liberation Struggle (throughout his life).
7. He was Professor at the University of Tanzania (1966-1967).
8. He was Professor at the University of the West Indies (Mona 1968).
9. He was expelled from Jamaica in 1968.
10. He was Professor at the University of Tanzania (1968-1974).
11. He published Groundings with my Brothers (1969); How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972).
12. He came home to Guyana (1974) to take up the appointment as Chair of the History Department at the University of Guyana.
13. The Burnham government (1974) rescinded his appointment at the University of Guyana.
14. He emerged as a resistance leader in Guyana against dictatorial rule (1974-1980).
15. Together with others he formed the resistance movement in Guyana, the Working People’s Alliance (1974).
16. He completed the manuscript, A History of the Guianese Working People 1881-1905 (1980). This was published in 1981.