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Bernard Coard

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Title: Bernard Coard  
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Subject: Hudson Austin, Grenada 17, List of heads of government of Grenada, List of coups d'état and coup attempts by country, Timeline of Russian history
Collection: 1944 Births, Alumni of the University of Sussex, Anti-Revisionists, Brandeis University Alumni, British Communists, British Schoolteachers, Grenadian Communists, Grenadian Expatriates in the United Kingdom, Grenadian People Convicted of Murder, Grenadian Prisoners Sentenced to Death, Grenadian Schoolteachers, Leaders Ousted by a Coup, Leaders Who Took Power by Coup, Living People, New Jewel Movement Politicians, People Convicted of Murder by Grenada, People from Saint Mark Parish, Grenada, Prisoners Sentenced to Death by Grenada, University of the West Indies Academics
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Bernard Coard

Winston Bernard Coard (born 10 August 1945) is a Grenadian politician who was Deputy Prime Minister in the People's Revolutionary Government of the New Jewel Movement. Coard launched a coup within the revolutionary government and took power for three days until he was himself deposed by General Hudson Austin.


  • Education 1
  • Teaching career 2
  • Revolution 3
  • The removal of Bishop 4
  • Trial and prison 5
  • Release 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Coard, the son of Frederick McDermott Coard (1893–1978) and Flora Fleming,[1] was born in Brandeis University and joined the Communist Party USA. In 1967 he moved to England and studied political economy at the University of Sussex. While in England Coard joined the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Teaching career

He worked for two years as a school teacher in London and ran several South London. In 1971 he published a pamphlet How the West Indian Child Is Made Educationally Subnormal in the British School System: The Scandal of the Black Child in Schools in Britain.[2] The pamphlet explained that British schools had a pervasive bias toward treating white children as normal, which led to black children being labelled as "educationally subnormal" (learning-disabled). Coard wrote:

"The [black] children are therefore made neurotic about their race and culture. Some become behaviour problems as a result. They become resentful and bitter at being told their language is second-rate, and their history and culture is non-existent; that they hardly exist at all, except by the grace of whites."

Coard's thesis was widely cited, even long after his revolutionary career, as a summary of the role of institutional racism in the relationship between race and intelligence. In 2005 it was republished as the central article in the collection Tell it Like it is: How Our Schools Fail Black Children.

After completing his doctorate at Sussex, Coard moved to Trinidad, where he was a visiting lecturer at the Institute of International Relations at the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago from 1972 to 1974. He also lectured from 1974 to 1976 at the Mona, Jamaica, campus of the University of the West Indies. During his stay in Jamaica, he joined the communist Worker's Liberation League and helped draft the League's manifesto.


In 1976 Coard returned to Grenada, soon becoming active in Grenadian politics. Soon after returning home, he joined the Eric Gairy, on 13 March 1979. The radio station, military barracks and police stations were targeted. Before long, they had control of the entire island. The NJM then announced the suspension of the constitution and that the NJM would rule by announcing laws.

Influenced by

  • The Grenada Revolution Online
  • The Lost Bishop Photos
  • Interview with Bernard Coard 2005

External links

Preceded by
Maurice Bishop
Prime Minister of Grenada
14–19 October 1983
Succeeded by
Hudson Austin
  1. ^ Martin, J. M. (2007). A-Z of Grenada Heritage. Oxford, UK: Macmillan Caribbean
  2. ^ "Why I wrote the 'ESN book'", The Guardian, 5 February 2005.
  3. ^ "Grenada-Willing Prisoners", Associated Press (, 11 September 2004.
  4. ^ "Grenada's last 1983 rebels freed". BBC Online. 5 September 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  5. ^ Pantin, Raoul (5 February 2011). "Exclusive interview with Bernard Coard". Trinidad Express. Retrieved 13 July 2013. 


See also

Bernard Coard has three children: Sola Coard (born 1971), Abiola Coard (born 1972), and Neto Coard (born 1979).

On 7 February 2007, the London-based Privy Council ordered a re-sentencing of Coard and the others convicted for the 1983 killing of Bishop and some of his cabinet colleagues. The hearing began on 18 June. On 27 June, the judge gave Coard and his fellow defendants a 30-year sentence, which included the time already spent in prison. On 5 September 2009, Coard was released from prison.[4] Upon release he said he did not want to be involved in politics again.[5]


In September 2004, the prison in which he was held was damaged by Hurricane Ivan and many inmates took the opportunity to flee, but Coard said he chose not to escape, saying he would not leave until his name was cleared.[3]

They were tried in August 1986 on charges of ordering the murder of Maurice Bishop and seven others. Bernard Coard was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life imprisonment in 1991. He served his sentence in Richmond Hill Prison, where he was engaged in teaching and instructing fellow inmates in many subjects, including economics and sociology.

Trial and prison

Just after Marines landed in Grenada, Coard, along with his wife Phyllis, Selwyn Strachan, John Ventour, Liam James, and Keith Roberts were arrested.

The United States then launched Operation Urgent Fury on 25 October. Hudson Austin's military government was deposed and constitutional government resumed afterward.

Upon Bishop's death, General Hudson Austin proclaimed himself head of the "Revolutionary Military Council" and became the nation's new head of government. He announced a four-day total curfew in which anyone seen outside their home would be subject to summary execution. The Governor General Sir Paul Scoon was detained.

Coard ordered Bishop put under house arrest on 19 October 1983 and took control of the government. As word of Bishop's arrest spread, large demonstrations broke out in many places. A demonstration in the capital led to Bishop being freed from house arrest by the demonstrators. Bishop and seven others including cabinet ministers of the government were eventually captured by the army and executed by a firing squad.

Bernard Coard was serving as the revolutionary government's Minister of Finance, Trade and Industry, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister under Bishop. A dispute developed within the senior ranks of the party. A majority faction of the party Central Committee, under Coard's leadership, demanded that Bishop either step down or enter into a power-sharing agreement with Coard where both men would share control of the government. Bishop and his faction refused.

The removal of Bishop
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