11.2.18

Black is Beautiful (2018) 8 - Claudia Jones


Claudia Jones was an activist, journalist, and organizer from Trinidad. She was born in 1915 and moved to the US at the age of 9. Upon moving to the US she faced the struggles of the great depression and racism in NYC, but she also benefitted from the Black cultural happenings of Harlem. She was a great writer and student who studied journalism and wrote a lot. She joined the Communist Party and quickly rose through the ranks as a writer, editor, then as a speaker and a rally organizer. She made so much noise in fact, they arrested her and deported her. She was surveilled and put on the FBI watch list as well. She was not allowed to return to Trinidad because of her great political knowledge and organizing power. So she was sent to the UK, where she also encountered racism. Even in the communist organizations there she was met with resistance. So, she saw the different caribbean peoples in the UK ( from former UK colonies) struggling and decided to start a newspaper called the West Indian Gazette in 1958. Blacks were migrating to the UK and being threatened, discriminated against, and in some cases killed. When riots started to break out and folks were struggling with how to organize she with leaders from several communities founded the Nottinghill Carnival. This still happens today and was credited with affirming Black beauty and bringing together people from Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, St Martinique, Grenada, and so many more countries. She struggled with many illnesses and died of a heart attack in 1964. In addition to standing up for Black rights, she was anti-capitalist, anti nuclear war, and the rights of working and poor people to dismantle their oppressive governments.

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Sources: Sons of Malcolm TV, AfricanHeritage.com, BlackAgendaReport.com

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