The former officer of the then Gold Coast Ministry of Education, Edward Kamau Brathwaite died on February 4, 2020, at the age of 89.
The acclaimed poet, who is originally from Barbados left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of his home country and the entire literary world.
He was a Comparative Literature professor at the New York University in the Arts & Science and at the time of his death was Professor Emeritus.
In 1955 Brathwaite working as an education officer on the Gold Coast (British colony)/Ghana with the Ministry of Education.
In 1960 he married Doris Monica Wellcome, a Guyanese graduate in Home Economics and Tropical Nutrition from the University of Leicester, while he was on home leave from Ghana.
While in Ghana, Brathwaite’s writing flowered, with Odale’s Choice (a play) which premiered at the Mfantsiman Secondary School. A full production of the play was later taken to Accra.
A graduate of Pembroke College in Cambridge, Brathwaite held a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Sussex and was the co-founder of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM).
In relation to Honours and Fellowships, Brathwaite earned the Casa de las Americas Premio 2011; WEB DuBois Award 2010; Jose Lezama Lima Prize; Neustadt International Award for Literature; Casa de Las Americas prize Prize for poetry; Casa de las Americas Prize for Literary Criticism; and he was a Guggenheim Fellow; Fulbright Fellow; Ford Foundation Fellow amongst others.
He leaves his wife and family to mourn his passing, along with all the writers, poets, authors and Literature buffs who were impacted by him or his works.
Among his books are Ancestors, Magical Realism, Golokwati, Words Need Love Too, Ark: A 9/11 Continuation Poem, The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica 1770-1820, and Born to Slow Horses.
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