Claudia Jones: The unsung Anti-racist and Feminist

Deepshikha Chakravarti
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Claudia Jones

Claudia Jones or Claudia Vera Cumberbatch was born in 1915 in Trinidad. She was one of the most influential black women thinkers and feminist leaders, of her times. Her family immigrated to the US and they settled in Harlem. It is here that she experienced appalling racism like most other black people in the US and great poverty. She grew up to be a political activist and black nationalist and used a false name Jones. Claudia was imprisoned for writing and delivering an International Women’s Day address in which she strongly supported the fight for peace against imperialist aggression. She was deported in 1955 because of her political activities after which she resided in the United Kingdom. In 1958 she founded The West Indian Gazette (WIG), Britain's first major black newspaper. She also founded the Notting Hill Carnival which today stands as world's largest street festivals.


Claudia always used the term “negro” as it was the preferred phraseology at the time. Her contributions to Black liberation movements, in the in America and in the UK remain highly underappreciated.

We bring you a collection of her quotations, which would inspire every woman.

1) The Lady with the Lamp, the Statue of Liberty, stands in New York Harbour. Her back is squarely turned on the USA. It’s no wonder, considering what she would have to look upon. She would weep, if she had to face this way.

2) A people’s art is the genesis of their freedom.

3) Loving your child also means respecting him as a person. Treat him with the same courtesy as would a friend.

4) It's gotten a whole lot rougher out here. It used to be quiet out here. It's not like that anymore. It's like the projects really.


5) Some of them are further along than others.

6) If anything is going to halt necessary investments in next generation networks it will be Congress dictating business models to companies.

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Also read: Paula Johnson: 6 Things That Make Her A Leader

Black women Feminist black women thinkers Claudia Jones Political Leader