Claire Carew Table

Claire Carew Table


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Contact    Index         Mission Nathaniel Turner Marcus Bruce Christian Guest Poets —  Special Topics Rudy’s Place The Old South  —  Worldcat

Film Review Books N Review Education & History Religion & Politics Literature & Arts Black LaborWork, Labor & Business Music  Musicians  

Baltimore Index Page

Educating Our Children

The African World

Editor’s Page     Letters

Inside the Caribbean

Digital Links

Home Online

Or Send contributions to: ChickenBones: A Journal / 2005 Arabian Drive / Finksburg, MD 21048  Help Save ChickenBones

Claire Carew Table




Claire Carew was born in Guyana and is of African, Arawak and European ancestry. She began her visual arts career over 25 years ago with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guelph and studies at private art schools.  Carew also holds a Diploma in Education, a Visual Arts Specialist from McGill University and has completed studies in drama at the University of Toronto. Carew’s work has been shown in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Her work is also in private collections in Brussels, England, Guyana and Russia.

more bio

*   *   *   *   *

Claire still remembers fondly her loving father sending first class tickets for herself, Mrs Carew, and sisters Vivvette, Corinne and Debbie to travel from Guyana to Canada in 1967. Luckily, they visited EXPO-1967, the world exhibition held in Montreal in that year, before moving on to their new home in Vancouver. Mrs. Carew is the “political one who gives me all the news hot off the press”, says Claire.

Claire went to secondary schools in the provinces where dad worked . Art, she explains, came to her “naturally”. A distant relative is renowned Guyanese novelist Jan Carew. In Toronto, she graduated from the Ontario College of Art and then did a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Guelph, also in Ontario province, where she was an outstanding student.. Last year, she completed her Masters of Art at Institututo Allende/ University Guanajuato in Mexico. The Artist as Social Activist

*   *   *   *   *

Carew has a remarkable canvas on her living room wall. It is an essay of powerful images of spirituality, conquest, struggle, resistance, self-assertion. Here is the struggle of the aboriginal against conquest, there’s the brown-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe, here are John Carlos and Tommy Smith with fists raised in Mexico, there is the back of the Mexican maiden slowly receding away, and at the center the native face with clear eyes gazing back, neither in defiance nor humility, but just “returning the gaze” as Claire puts it.

Scattered around her neat semi-detached home in Toronto’s west end are paintings ranging from rich to subdued tones, all commanding your attention. There is a lot of power in these pictures, belying the gentle Guyanese tone of Carew’s strongly Guyanese accented words. But there is nothing “soft” about Carew when she asserts,

“As a woman you don’t have too much freedom. So the least you can do is paint what you want to paint. That’s when you can get your freedom. Because in society a woman is always told what she ought to be. So art is one way a human being can express herself.” Claire Carew: Giving Voice Through Art 

*   *   *   *   *


Claire Carew :: Artist

The Artist as Social Activist

Claire Carew: Giving Voice Through Art 

From Birmingham Alabama to Qana Lebanon 

Healing Wisdom of Mexico 

Holguin Always Looking forward

Homage to Frida Kahlo

It Ain’t About Race 

My Thoughts on International Women’s Day

Sitting ducks at the superdome    

*   *   *   *   *

Related files

Bush turning campuses dissent-free  

Corporate Plantation

Guest Poets

Howard Protest    

Inside the Caribbean

Jan Carew

Justice for the Poor 

Katrina New Orleans Flood Index  

Katrina killed those already dying! 

A Letter To Langston Hughes

Literature & Arts

Literary New Orleans


The Price of Ignorance 

The Proliferation of a Lie 

Textbook Victimization

Visual Artists and Their Works (Table)

West Indian Narrative

Whats For Supper

Willie Ricks 60s Civil Rights Worker

*   *   *   *   *

My Thoughts on International Women’s Day

 By Claire Carew

*   *   *   *   *

Physically disabled, she used a wheel chair when need be. She was openly bisexual and of Indigenous, Spanish, and Jewish ancestry.  An accomplished artist and a member of the communist party she voiced her opinions often in demonstrations. One of her last photographed public demonstrations was in support of the people of Guatemala.Today she would be considered an environmentalist as her work often depicts landscapes animals and flowers. Her emotional and physical pain many of us know of personally. She gives meaning to our vulnerabilities.   Her struggles are ours, her beliefs and values we share and support. Long Live Frida is indeed true. She continues to live in the hearts and minds of many people.  She is a part of us and will continue to live as long as we continue to identify with her trials and triumphs. Frida the artist. Frida the communist.  Frida the feminist. Frida the naturalist. Homage to Frida Kahlo

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 – Don’t Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *

The Shameful Life of Salvador Dali

By Ian Gibson

In his detailed and excellent book on Salvador Dali, Ian Gibson has documented Dali’s identification with fascism in Spain from the very beginning. During the civil war, Dali never came out in support of the Republic.  He did not collaborate, for example, in the Paris Fair in 1937, where Picasso presented his Guernica, aimed at raising funds for the Republican cause.  And he soon made explicit his sympathies for the fascist coup of 1936 and for the dictatorship that it established in a letter to Buñuel, a well-known filmmaker in Spain. 

He made explicit and known his admiration for the figure and writing of the founder of the Spanish fascist party (La Falange), José Antonio Primo de Rivera, and used in his speeches and writings the fascist narrative and expressions (such as the fascist call “Arriba España”), referring to the special role Spain had in promoting the imperial dreams over other nations.  He sympathized with the anti-Semitic views of Hitler and celebrated Franco’s alliance with Hitler and Mussolini against France, Great Britain and the United States.


 He also welcomed the “solution to the national problem” in vogue in Nazi and fascist circles at that time.Dali became the major defender of the Franco dictatorship in the artistic world.  He was also, as Spanish fascism was, very close to the Church and to the Vatican of Pope Pius XII, indicating that modern art needed to be based on Christianity.  His loyalty to the fascist dictatorship continued to the very end, defending the state terrorist policies that included political assassinations, even in the last moments of that dictatorshipcounterpunch

*   *   *   *   *

Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake.

She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—


*   *   *   *   *

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *


*   *   *   *   *



update 25 February 2012





Post Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.