To kick off Black History Month, the New Haven Free Public Library has partnered up with the Ely Center of Contemporary Art to create a Guyanese author display to coincide with the Ely Center’s Stanwyck Cromwell exhibit opening this month! 

Guyana, officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, is a small Caribbean country located in the northeastern continental South America.

Quick Facts:
Motto: One People, One Nation, One Destiny 
Population: 741,800 (2023 estimate) 
Official Languages: Guyana is the only South American country with English as their official language.  
Government System: Unitary Assembly-Independent Republic 
Guyana’s literacy rate was 90% in 2022! Compared to the US’s literacy rate, which was 79% in 2023. 

Authors on Display

Walter Rodney 

23 Mar 1942 – 13 Jun 1980 

Rodney was an internationally known orator, activist, and scholar. He was deeply interested in and critical of Europe’s imperialism in Africa, a topic on which he wrote his most influential book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Rodney was assassinated on June 13, 1980, in Georgetown, Guyana. 

Edgar Mittelholzer 

16 Dec 1909 – 6 May 1965 

Mittleholzer is often considered one of the first English-speaking professional novelists to come out of the Caribbean. His novels were largely about the Caribbean, including its history, people, and culture. 

Martin Carter 

7 Jun 1927 – 13 Dec 1997 

Often considered the greatest Guyanese poet, Carter wrote about life in Guyana under British rule. He authored under the pseudonym M. Black in order to protect his employment as a civil servant. Carter was arrested in 1953 and 1954 for spreading dissent. 

Grace Nichols 

1950 – Present

Grace Nichols is a Guyanese-British poet and author. Her work centers around the British-Guyanese cultural connection, Guyanese folklore, and Guyanese resistance to British colonization. 

The display is located at the Ives Branch next to the information desk and will be viewable all month long!