I was born here, and here I stay, with the people of Trinidad & Tobago, who educated me free of charge for nine years at Queen’s Royal College and for five years at Oxford, who have made me whatever I am, and who have been or might be at any time the victims of the very pressure which I have been fighting against for 12 years…I am going to let down my bucket where I am, right here with you in the British West Indies. ― Dr. Eric Eustace Williams during a public lecture at Woodford Square, June 21, 1955. Excerpted from his autobiography, Inward Hunger: The Education of a Prime Minister, published in 1969.

Eric Eustace Williams

On March 29, 1981, Eric Eustace Williams, author and the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, died. Williams was born September 25, 1911 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He earned a history degree from St. Catherine’s College in 1935 and went on to advanced research in history at Oxford, earning his Ph. D. in 1938. In 1939, Williams moved to the United States where he taught at Howard University. In 1948, he returned to Trinidad as Deputy Chairman of the Caribbean Research Council and in 1956 he started his own political party, the People’s National Movement, which would take Trinidad and Tobago into independence in 1962. Williams served as Prime Minister from 1956 until his death. His autobiography, Inward Hunger, was published in 1969.

The Akosua Report: Facts on The African Diaspora, is written by Akosua Lowery. Follow her on Twitter @AkosuaLowery.

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