Condolence Message on the Passing of Leroy Calliste, the Black Stalin
Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit
Prime Minister of Dominica
The Government and people of Dominica are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Leroy Calliste, the Black Stalin, and extend sincere condolences to his family, the music fraternity, the Government, and the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
While Stalin was of Trinidadian nationality, he was a Caribbean Man, claimed by the whole Caribbean, as one who supported the region and the cause of the Black Race. He was an oral historian of our regional society and politics whose superbly crafted lyrics and melodies will endure as a testament to the life, culture, and times of our region and its people.
Whether Stalin was singing of the injustices of apartheid as in Bun Dem; calling for us to understand, preserve and protect the value of our intellectual property as in, Mr. Pan Maker; urging our effort, confidence, and hope as in, We Can Make It If We Try, and Better Days Are Coming; speaking on behalf the plight of the poor, as in Sufferers; Stalin’s lyrics were insightful, biting and powerful.
Black Man Feeling To Party, like his other party music, was infectious and made listeners, sing along, dance, or just shake a leg. Like all good art, the lyrics and melodies of his social commentary, as well as his party music, commanded our attention, inspired debate, and moved us to laughter, or deep emotion.
A Caribbean great has passed on. We mourn the loss of the man, Leroy Calliste, but we celebrate the genius of the Black Stalin, his life, and his legacy to the people of the Caribbean.
May he Rest In Peace