Claudia Carter, cherished NAACP Executive Board Member and Chair of the Black History Month Committee, historian, artist and children’s education advocate died peacefully in her sleep, on April 8, 2022.
Claudia was a kind and imaginative person who loved art, history, and books. She grew up in Northern, CA and moved to Vancouver 15 years ago. A concern over the scarcity of books and art depicting the history and contributions of African Americans in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest eventually led her to become both a tireless researcher and collector of local Black History and folklore. She was also an advocate of educating African American Children about their history and roots in Vancouver and Clark County, Washington.
Under Claudia’s leadership, the NAACP began an annual exhibition at Vancouver Community Library addressing Black History in Vancouver, the State and Northwest from early explorers through World War II. Claudia was committed to growing and expanding the exhibit each year and increasing education and dialogue on Black History in schools and in the community. She worked tirelessly to make that dream come true and continued working even after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in early 2020.
In 2021 she celebrated completion of a sculpture entitled the “Elephant Goddess” that is permanently displayed in the the Vancouver Community Library at 901 C St. She also helped produce a video that tells much of the history of Blacks in the Northwest.
In February of this year, the Clark County Historical Museum installed Claudia’s creation, “Black History Highlights of Southwest Washington” as an outdoor exhibit highlighting Black History in Vancouver and Southwest Washington. The exhibit will be open through 2024. Claudia leaves a great legacy of her work and compassion to the community and the NAACP.
We express our deepest sympathy to Claudia’s entire family. In keeping with Claudia’s request, Vancouver NAACP is making a memorial gift in honor of Claudia to The Boys and Girls Club of SW Washington.