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John La Rose (1927-2006): A Tribute
Author Word Power Books
Publication date 02/03/06
No words can fully describe or express the great loss of John La Rose but...
JOHN LA ROSE, founder of New Beacon Books, co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement and of the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books, died on the morning of Tuesday 28 February 2006 in London. Since the 1950s John had been at the forefront of many grassroots political and cultural organisations striving for racial equality and social justice in the UK and abroad.
Born in Trinidad, John was a writer, publisher and filmmaker. He was Secretary General of the West Indian Independence Party in Trinidad in the 1950s. He founded New Beacon Books in the UK in 1966 and co-founded the Caribbean Artists Movement (1966), the Caribbean Education and Community Workers Association (1969), the Black Parents Movement (1975), the New Cross Massacre Action Committee (1981) and the European Action for Racial Equality and Social Justice (1990).
John's publications include two books of poetry, Foundations and Eyelets of Truth Within Me, and Kaiso Calypso Music (with David Rudder). He also co-authored Attila's Kaiso: A Short History of Trinidad Calypso (with Raymond Quevedo).
John was Chairman of the Institute of Race Relations in the early 1970s and Director of the International Book Fair of Radical Black and Third World Books throughout its existence from 1982 to 1995. He was the European representative of the Oilfield Workers Trade Union in Trinidad. He was the Chairman of the George Padmore Institute.
Not only was John a selfless cultural and political activist in his own right, he helped, encouraged and nurtured new activists and thinkers to establish their own independent, radical and revolutionary organisations and movements all over the world. He was an internationalist. From John O'Groats to Lands End and from Port of Spain to Soweto, John always stood with the oppressed and the exploited. We will never forget his massive contribution to the struggle for fundamental social change. He was an inspiration to us all and he will be greatly missed.
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