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Edric and Pearl Connor Papers, 1941-1978
Edric and Pearl Connor
Biographical

Edric Connor was born in Mayaro, Trinidad in 1913. He emerged as a cultural activist in the early 1940's and migrated to Britain in 1944 where he subsequently became a well known singer as well as a film and stage actor. His film appearances included: Cry the Beloved Country (1951); Moby Dick (1956) : and the Roots of Heaven (1958). He died in London in 1968.

Pearl Connor (also known as Pearl Connor-Mongotsi) was born in Trinidad in 1924. Originally a dancer with Beryl McBurnie, she went to Britain in 1948 to study law and subsequently married Edric Connor. In 1956, she started the Edric Connor Agency to promote actors, dancers, writers and musicians. In 1971, she married Joseph Mogotsi, leader of the South African singing group, The Manhattan Brothers. She died in South Africa in 2005.

Description

The collection comprises documents, correspondence and photographs from both Edric and Pearl Connor. The items from Edric include several drafts of Edric Connor autobiography, photographs several of which illustrate his film career and many music scores that he possessed. The photographs also depict the evacuation of the northwest peninsula of Chaguaramas in Trinidad which Connor helped to organize on behalf of the U.S. Military in the early 1940s. There are also early photographs of the steelband showing the transition from biscuit tins to oil drums.

The Pearl Connor material covers the period 1977-1978 when she was based in Trinidad. It comprises newspaper clippings and correspondence, pamphlets depicting her involvement in various aspects of Trinidad and Tobago culture, her efforts as a cultural activist, involvement in Carifesta, attempted development of a local film industry, and also her work as a columnist with the Trinidad Guardian.

Provenance

The collection was donated to the Alma Jordan Library University of the West Indies by Geraldine Connor, daughter of Pearl and Edric Connor in the 1980s.

Related Material

Connor, Edric. Horizons: the life and times of Edric Connor 1913-1968, an autobiography / Edric Connor; with foreword by George Lamming and introduction by Bridget Brereton and Gordon Rohlehr. Kingston, Jamaica; Miami : Ian Randle Publishers, 2007.

The Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, also holds a collection of items on Edric and Pearl Connor.

Inventory

The Collection has been indexed and the records available in an electronic WINISIS database. Please consult with staff to access this database.

Index terms

All Saints Anglican Church (Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago).
Actors -- Trinidad and Tobago.
Carifesta.
Chaguaramas (Trinidad and Tobago).
Connor, Edric.
Connor, Pearl.
Edric Connor Agency.
Motion picture industry -- Trinidad and Tobago.
Motion pictures.
Performing arts -- Trinidad and Tobago.
Songs -- Scores.
Steel bands (Music) -- Trinidad and Tobago -- Photographs.
Theater -- Trinidad and Tobago.