PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Chairman of the Emancipation Support Committee, (ESC), Khafra Kambon, said the work of LeRoy Clarke, who died earlier on Tuesday was “meant to express African reality”.
Clarke, 82, an artist, author and poet, died at his home in Cascade on the outskirts of the capital. He had been ailing for several weeks.
“Some people made it through their voice, through politics, and different forms of mobilization of people. But f we did not have voices like his…then we would have been in bad state as a people.
‘We still have some challenges but…all his art, was meant to express the African reality.’
Kambon said that Clarke, the author of several books and who was involved in the Trinidad Theatre Workshop as a set designer and set designer, may have at times been misunderstood, but Clarke meant well.
“He would speak at events…and people would be astonished at the things he would say. But his way of stimulating people’s consciousness and this might have turned some people off…but when LeRoy spoke, sometimes…I would not say insulted…but he meant well and no matter how he presented it, he stood up for African people, recognizing their root which is such an important thing in this society,” the ESC chairman added.
Clarke had received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Trinidad and Tobago, and declared a national icon by the government. In 2005, Clarke was bestowed with the Staff of Eldership and Chieftaincy title at the sixth Shango/Oshun Rain Festival.