Born OTD n 1915, Trinidad-born journalist & activist, Claudia Jones. As a member of the Communist Party USA & a black national feminist, Jones identified with black women’s oppression, known as triple oppression. Her focus was on “an anti-imperialist coalition, managed by working-class leadership, fueled by the involvement of women.” However, Jones was often considered more radical than Marx because she did not believe that capitalism was the only oppressor contributing to sexism and racism.

Roots and Culture

An elected member of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Jones also organised and spoke at events. As a result of her membership of CPUSA and various associated activities, in 1948 she was arrested and sentenced to the first of four spells in prison. Incarcerated on Ellis Island, she was threatened with deportation to Trinidad.

She was refused entry to Trinidad and Tobago, in part because the British colonial governor Major General Sir Hubert Elvin Rance considered that “she may prove troublesome”. She was eventually offered residency in the United Kingdom on humanitarian grounds, and federal authorities agreed to allow it when she agreed to cease contesting her deportation.

From her experiences in the United States, Jones believed that “people without a voice were as lambs to the slaughter.” In March 1958 above a barber’s shop in Brixton, she founded and thereafter edited the anti-imperialist, anti-racist paper West Indian Gazette, its full title subsequently displayed on its masthead as West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News, (WIG). The paper became a key contributor to the rise of consciousness within the Black British community.

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