Monthly Archives: January 2012

Black Firsts Blog: Claudia Jones

Read this newspaper cutting from 1989.

Now here’s someone who deserves to be remembered – Claudia Jones.

She died on 24 December 1964, aged 49, so it’s appropriate to remember her at Christmas.
She was such a very special lady. There aren’t many people who are buried next to Karl Marx, but Claudia Jones, out of a mark of respect from the Communist party, is buried next to him in Highgate cemetery in London..

Claudia was a Communist in America in the 1950s which was a dangerous position to be in at that time. So she was incarcerated on Ellis Island (with Paul Robeson and others), eventually released because of ill health and deported to Britain.

Claudia was a trained journalist. She arrived in Britain in 1955 and became the first Black woman publisher in the UK. She launched and ran the West Indian Gazette which became an important newspaper for Caribbean people of the Windrush generation..

She campaigned for black liberation, women’s rights and against the 1962 Immigration Bill. Her legacy lives on with the Notting Hill Carnival which she was instrumental in establishing.