Tag Archives: Jan Carew

Hope: Guyana’s history and the names of some “Great Guyanese”

 By Geoff Burrowes

When I was growing up I knew a mild mannered boy named Malcolm Rodrigues. His nickname was “Milky”. I later heard that he had become a Jesuit priest.

When many of us, decided that life under the heel of the Forbes Burnham regime was not supportable and emigrated to other countries to enjoy their freedoms, Malcolm continued to minister in Guyana. I recently read an article written by him about the martyrdom of Father Darke and realized that Malcolm had grown into a courageous priest who had stood up against the excesses of the politicians of the time. I guess that his Jesuit training and expectations were partially responsible for that growth.          Continue reading

Notable Guyanese who died in 2012

Notable Guyanese who died in 2012

Posted By Staff Writer On January 1, 2013

While many were anxious to welcome this New Year, 2012 will be forever etched in the minds of those whose lives were touched in one way or the other by the Guyanese greats who passed away this year.

They included professionals, artistes and even the world’s oldest blogger at the time of his passing. Stabroek News reflects on the lives of 19 persons who have left indelible impressions on so many.

January 13: Legendary music and boxing promoter Cyril Shaw died at the age of 89. Shaw is best remembered for the invaluable contribution he made in launching and promoting the career of world renowned Calypso King, the Mighty Sparrow and local calypsonians such as Lord Canary, King Fighter, Lady Guymine and many others. Shaw, according to friends and business associates, was a sterling example of the promoter every artist or entertainer longed for since many times he left himself and family without to satisfy the needs of those who entrusted him with managing and promoting their career.                 Continue reading

GCA Memorial Service for outstanding Guyanese Literary and Cultural Icons – February 24, 2013 – NYC

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The gentle revolutionary: Jan Carew at 90

The gentle revolutionary: Jan Carew at 90

By David Austin

David Austin lives in Montreal and is the editor of the recently published book: ‘You Don’t Play with Revolution: The Montreal Lectures of CLR James.’ He recently spoke at an event celebrating Jan Carew’s 90th birthday sponsored by the Department of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He shared the platform with Eusi Kwayana.

Jan Carew, who celebrated his 90th birthday on September 24,  has lived an extraordinary and itinerant life, or many overlapping lives, and seemingly many lifetimes. He begins in Guyana, but in many ways his life defies space and time. He is the quintessential diasporic persona, a happy wanderer whose presence helped to shape seminal moments in the lives of people of African and Caribbean descent.

Jan reported for the London Observer on the Cuban Missile Crisis from Havana; joined the Laurence Olivier Company in the 1950s and acted in several plays while simultaneously working for the BBC. He also studied dentistry at Charles University in Czechoslovakia and travelled to and wrote about Russia and people of African descent.

Jan worked alongside Claudia Jones and other notable Black and Caribbean figures as they attempted to humanize Britain, to liberate the decaying empire from itself and its legacy of colonialism and racism in the 1950s. He wrote several books of fiction, including Moscow is Not My Mecca, Black Midas, The Wild Coast and The Last Barbarian and several generations of West Indians were weaned on his children’s stories. He served as director of culture in Guyana in 1962 and an advisor to the Publicity Secretariat and editor of African Review in Ghana (1965-1966) and was detained when President Kwame Nkrumah was deposed in a military coup.

During his sojourn in Canada (1966-1969), Jan became the centre of a burgeoning literary scene, writing and mounting plays, including Behind God’s Back which, adapted from a short story by Austin Clarke, aired on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television in 1969. He started Cotopaxi, a literary journal that included poets and future University of the West Indies professor Cliff Lashley, Canadian poet Milton Acorn, and Jamaican Rudolph Murray, future editor of Black Images, arguably Canada’s first national Black arts and culture magazine. Still in Canada, he was active, and a voice of reason within, the Black Power movement, and later joined forces with Indigenous peoples in Canada’s Red Power movement.         Continue reading

“Guyanese Wanderer” by Jan Carew

“Guyanese Wanderer”

…….  Short Stories by Jan Carew

Reviewed by Eusi Kwayana

Of the ten tales eight are set in Guyana; two in Europe. But they are all haunted by the rhythm of the birth place, reminding those who remember of his early demands for “a poetry that smells of our earth and represents more clearly the dreams of our people.”

The author tells the tales with a tender and brutal realism, chipping away at all the veils that people wear with or without religious requirement. Where he is planning to unveil the inner compulsions of desire or greed or flirtation, he carefully arranges the scene to remove chance of instant discovery and then lets the human animal free, in strict privacy, only subject to these dramatic revelations from a distance of time and place that conceals the original actors and grants them back their privacy. There are two such tales in the book, involving the same male with one or two women one at each pole of the social ladder..

Read the full review by Eusi Kwayana here“Guyanese Wanderer”

Note:  This book is available from many sources.  The least expensive is from Amazon.com

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