Jacqueline Creft Memorial Collection
Scope and Contents
The collection comprises of material generated by the New Jewel Movement/People’s Revolutionary Government during the time of the Grenadian revolution (1979-1983). This includes publications, photographs, policy documentation, newspapers and audio material. Alongside this are materials published worldwide about the revolutionary period in Grenada and the subsequent US invasion. The collection has been sorted into two main series’ to reflect this.
- 1979 - 2017
Conditions Governing Access
Biographical / Historical
In March 1979, the New Jewel Movement, led by Maurice Bishop, formed the People’s Revolutionary Government (CRFET/1) of Grenada after a bloodless coup that ousted former Prime Minister Eric Gairy.
The New Jewel Movement’s political vision combined Marxist-Leninism and Black power. The successful coup made Grenada the only socialist nation within the Commonwealth. The leadership of the revolution sought to develop a highly participatory approach to political and economic decision-making, focusing on key areas of development including: economic infrastructure, building domestic industry, reducing mass unemployment and an overhaul of both the education and healthcare systems.
The revolution in Grenada drew the hostility of the US government which began a programme of political and economic destabilisation. When factional power struggles within the government led to the execution of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, alongside key cabinet ministers on October 19, 1983, the US government used the division and conflict in the government leadership to mount an invasion, ‘Operation Urgent Fury’, which formally ended the People’s Revolutionary Government.
This collection of materials was assembled by Chris Searle through his time spent in Grenada during the revolutionary period and his close involvement with the PRG. The collection was donated to Black Cultural Archives in 2019 and an additional accrual was added in 2021.
Chris Searle is a writer, teacher and radical educationalist, born in Romford, England in 1944. He has taught in East London, Canada, Mozambique and across the Caribbean. Chris Searle worked as a teacher trainer in Grenada during the PRG rule and became the National Co-Ordinator of the Revolution’s teacher education programme NISTEP (National In-Service Teacher Education Programme, CREFT/1/3/1/2). Searle was also the main editor and writer of Fedon Publishers, the emergent publishing house of the revolutionary government and worked with Maurice Bishop to help write his speeches. Searle returned to England from Grenada in August 1982.
The collection is dedicated to the memory of Jacqueline Creft, a founding leader of the New Jewel Movement and Minister of Education in the People’s Revolutionary Government from 1980 to 1983. Creft was instrumental to the transformation of the educational system in Grenada under the PRG rule, coordinating hugely innovate mass education programmes to overturn practices inherited from colonialism and continued under the Gairy administration. Creft also headed the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. Jacqueline Creft was executed alongside Maurice Bishop on October 19th 1983.
Language of Materials
Creoles and pidgins, English-based
Biographical/historical information has been comprised using ‘A British anti-imperialist lion in the Grenada revolution’ by Didacus Jules, ‘Grenada Morning’ by Chris Searle and ‘Forward Ever!’ The collected speeches of Maurice Bishop.
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Archives Collection Repository
Black Cultural Archives
1 Windrush Square