Walter Rodney

Activist Type

Dr. Walter Anthony Rodney was a prominent Guyanese historian, political activist, and preeminent scholar who was assassinated in Guyana in 1980. He was sharply critical of the middle class's role in the post-independence Caribbean. He was also a strong critic of capitalism and argued for a socialist development template. Rodney became a prominent Pan-Africanist and was important in the Black Power movement in the Caribbean and North America. While living in Dar es Salaam, he was influential in developing a new center of African learning and discussion. He became increasingly active in politics, founding the Working People’s Alliance, a party that provided the most effective and credible opposition to the PNC government. On 13 June 1980, Walter Rodney, at the age of 38, was killed by a bomb in his car, a month after returning from the independence celebrations in Zimbabwe during a period of intense political activism.

Artwork by
Trevor Davis

Walter Rodney deeply embedded himself in the conversation and study of slavery and colonial imperialism which should not be forgotten. His legacy is further encapsulated under the Working People’s Alliance that formed in Guyana that brought together all ethnic backgrounds in the region. My goal for the piece was to show his passion for the working poor and his great understanding of colonialism and imperialism that affects much of the world today.


Guyana Flag
May 26, 1966
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