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Leyton E. Franklin, born in the Co-operative Republic of Guyana (formerly British Guiana) located on the northeast shoulder of the South American continent. I am the first of six children to, Ona Lois Franklin-Nee Stuart-Medas who was the daughter of Hyacinth Eugene nee, Cozier (a teacher) and Rev, S. B. Stuart-Medas a Congregational Minister (who was first a head-master in the educational system). My dad, Euatace Alexander Franklin was a Senior Public Health Officer with the Government. Emigrated to Canada in 1972 and a few years later returned to school, graduating from York University with a Hon’s degree in Fine Arts

“My Aesthetic expressions are provided through inspiration of a goddess/god’s and are best created in my culture images. Therefore my creative compositions are an adventure that I enjoy and whoever takes the trip should enjoy it. My compositions can be an excellent vehicle in promoting cultural understanding, and the images attempt to fuse my cultural experiences with other cultural concepts to add voice in the promotion of human spirit and unity. Aubrey Williams (Guyanese artist) states that, art expressions are a part of woman/man that comes from within and an artist must leave records and break rules. Other Caribbean artists, David more, mamba Roy, Leroy Clarke, roscoe holder, Philip more and Barrington Watson were also an influence in my art expressions. African American artists also played a part in my early development in school, Roamer Bearden, Benny Andrews, Jacob Lawrence, William H. Johnson, Henry Oshawa Tanner and Demoniac Lewis. European artists were Picasso and Henry More.”

Synopsis: my School Daze

My dad was a senior public health officer who was transferred regular (as his employer saw it fit); the family was always on the move (after spending two to three years in any village); living in different parts of Guyana.

Places we lived and Schools I attended (between 1947 to 1962 before British Guiana/Guyana gained independence on May 26, 1966);

1947-1949 Bagotown/Good-In-Tent, West Bank of Demerara River; CANAL #1 Kindergarten SCHOOL; leaving my family to live with her parents.

1949-1951 Beterverwagting Government School, East Coast Demerara (school was close to the manse where I was living)

1951-1953 Smith’s Memorial Congregational School on Hadfield Street Georgetown (Smith Church School); before leaving Georgetown the fight for change was in the air; I was about ten years old in1953 and the beginning period of unrest in British Guiana/Guyana started; local politicians projected new political visions for change in the country; sought the mandate towards gaining independence from British ruler who were in control; political think-tanks were instrumental in creating political parties; directing anti-British statements to the masses, and during the canvassing process; painted or written anti-British statements which were visible within the city; written information got all locals involved in the campaign against those trying to prevent a political change; children followed the adults in their political fight for equality, self-rule, and freedom from the colonial suppressor and oppressor; involvement of children, not totally understanding what the fight for political change was about. Children saw white foreigners with guns in hands, throwing their weight around after invading the country. Age didn’t matter to the British troops; children also appeared guilty to them for crimes (joining the fight for self-rule) they didn’t commit; waiting to condemned them to die like Socrates at the hands of colonial foreign troops.

1953-1955 Mahaica Scotts School, East Coast Demerara

1955-1959 Beehive/Ann’s Grove East Coast Demerara Ann’s Grove Methodist School

Returned to Georgetown in 1962 (returning to be educated); attend Tutorial High School on Bent Street and later Cambridge Academy High School on Hadfield Street (both schools have active pages on Facebook); political parties kept the heated fight for change against the old colonial system; period of unrest (general strike/martial law/arrests) into the 1970s; the continuation of the countries struggling for change towards independence; in the fight for change from the Colonial system; citizens were divided into two groups; uncomfortable in their held positions, in the Colonial run governments and did not want to lose their jobs; others took stand and fought for change which came (not without blood). The group who did not join were surprise at the end results.

Anna Regina/Henrietta Essequibo Coast 1959/1960, Brunette High School in Queenstown, where my education in the school system ended. Before leaving the city for education period on the Essequibo Coast; it was clear the revolt was directed in actual fact against the old British system. Compounding the struggle there was the rising of American Black Power movement exploding; spreading written ideas and artistic expressions around the world. The struggles entered Guyana and the Caribbean; projecting new ideas and visions which came down like a destructive hurricane, creating a thirst for new learnings; giving rise to different educational groups re-educate those who wanted to quench their thirst for knowledge. During Independence in 1966 I was employed with the Demerara Bauxite Company in McKenzie now Linden.

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