Lasana Kwesi dies after brief illness

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The Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) has expressed its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Lasana Kwesi, longstanding member of the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago, who died on Wednesday. He died following a brief illness at the Port of Spain General Hospital, Trinidad’s Express reports.

In a news release, the ESC said, “Brother Kwesi, recruited into the National Joint Action Committee in 1969, was among the young group leaders of the Black Power movement which brought major positive changes to Trinidad and Tobago in the 1970s. During the two states of emergency in 1970 and 1971, together with another group chairman, Lidj Yasu Omowale, he led the National Joint Action Committee, in the absence of its national leaders who were incarcerated. Lasana never left his beloved Laventille, and no matter how difficult times became he would continue to organise special community events especially for the youth, believing in their possibilities for fulfilling their dreams.”

It added, “Lasana was among the early spoken-word poets of the 70s in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. Together with other figures such as Abdul Malik, he brought words and thoughts to life through spoken-word poetry. He has published two books of poetry and one of his pieces, She, was put to dance by Astor Johnson and performed by Jo Anne Kilgour. Lasana had a gift for storytelling.

He travelled widely, in the United States and the Caribbean, both as activist and poet, addressing political and academic audiences as well as presenting his poetry.

Funeral arrangements will be announced the release said.

For the original report go to

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