Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw was a Kittitian political leader and equal rights and labor activist who served his country for nearly 40 years. As a young man, Bradshaw became acutely aware of the heavy social impact that was imposed upon the islands due to the mainly white-controlled sugar industry. Unable to reconcile his religious beliefs with the rampant inequality he saw around him, Bradshaw became an authority of worker’s rights and advocated for equal treatment regardless of ethnicity. Bradshaw organized and led several effective strikes as the president of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union. Bradshaw’s efforts helped to refine the labor conditions in St. Kitts and pave the way towards independence from British control. He was posthumously awarded the title of First National Hero by the National Assembly of Saint Kitts and Nevis and in his honor, the international airport in Saint Kitts now bears his name.
Illustration by Anna Dawson
Saint Kitts and Nevis
The artistic inspiration draws from Bradshaw’s strong roots in the Saint Kitts sugar industry. It was in the sugar factories that Bradshaw first witnessed and became troubled by the exploitation of sugar workers, which sparked his move towards a life in union advocacy and political leadership. Outside politics, Bradshaw had a flare for fine living, which was demonstrated by his strong interest in heraldry. When Coat of Arms designs were submitted for the new Associated State, he eagerly examined and critiqued every submission until one was deemed “unique and appropriate.”
637,657 km2 (42nd)
Kittitian or Nevisian
Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy