Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine
- Minister of Education.
Dr. Roopnaraine was born in Kitty, Georgetown, Guyana. In 1954, he won a scholarship to Queen's College, where he excelled in cricket; he captained the team and represented Demerara in the Inter-county Cricket Finals.
In 1962 he was awarded a Guyana scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge, where he studied Modern Languages. He played first-class cricket for the Cambridge University team from 1964 to 1966 and was awarded a Blue for representing the university in the annual University Match against Oxford in 1965 and 1966. As a cricketer, he was a lower order right-handed batsman and a right-arm off-break bowler.
In 1970 he was awarded a scholarship to Cornell University, New York, where he obtained an MA and PhD in Comparative Literature. From 1976 to 1996, he has worked as a university lecturer in the UK, Canada, the US and at the University of Guyana.
He joined the Working People's Alliance (WPA) in 1977 and quickly became one of the leaders of the party, along with Walter Rodney, Clive Thomas and Eusi Kwayana. He has been a member of the Guyanese parliament for many years, with a virtually unique reputation for the incorruptible representation of people across all racial groups.
He is unquestionably one of the leading Caribbean intellectuals of his generation, though political activism has restricted his output. Nevertheless, he is an outstanding art critic (champion of the work of Stanley Greaves), literary critic (author of a pioneering essay on Martin Carter), film-maker (The Terror and the Time) and poet. He is the author of The Web of October: Rereading Martin Carter (1986), a suite of love poems entitled Suite for Supriya (1993), and Primacy of the Eye: The Art of Stanley Greaves was published in 2003. Roopnaraine also contributed a substantial "Introduction" to the Peepal Tree Press 2010 edition of Edgar Mittelholzer's Shadows Move Among Them.