World News – UK – Why is a Google Doodle celebrating today Claudia Jones, founder of Notting Hill Carnival


Claudia Jones was a journalist and activist born in Trinidad and Tobago, who immigrated to the United States with her family as a child There she became a black political activist and nationalist thanks to communism policy of her time, between February 21, 1915 and December 24, 1964, was openly hostile to leftist ideals and values, and in 1955 she was expelled by the United States for activities deemed against the government She was subsequently granted asylum in Britain, where she founded the UK’s first black newspaper, the West Indian Gazette, in 1958. The following year, she also helped launch an annual showcase for Caribbean talent which became the Notting Hill Carnival. As part of a roll call of outstanding black personalities to mark Black History Month, Claudia is celebrated in today’s Google Doodle Here are a few more things you should know about her

Claudia Vera Cumberbatch was born in Belmont, Port of Spain, Trinidad, and moved to Harlem, New York when she was nine.Being an immigrant to the United States as well as a black woman – severely limited her career choices She started working in a laundromat, before finding work in the retail business.However, Claudia had a flair for writing and, in her spare time, started a column called Claudia Comments for a Harlem newspaper. Seeking a community where her desire for activism could thrive, she joined the Young Communist League USA in 1936.

Black History Month 2020 events: what’s happening in the UK and what activities you can participate in

In 1937 she joined the editorial staff of the Daily Worker and became editor-in-chief of the Weekly Review the following year During World War II she also became editor-in-chief of the American Youth for Democracy newspaper (formerly the Young Communist League), Spotlight After the war, she turned her talents to feminism and became executive secretary of the National Commission for Women and secretary of the Women’s Commission of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA)

She held a similar post at the National Peace Council in 1952 and became editor-in-chief of the influential black newspaper, Negro Affairs in 1953

In 1948 Jones was arrested and sentenced to the first of four prison spells due to her activities as a prominent member and president of the National Communist Party She was incarcerated on Ellis Island and was threatened with deportation to Trinidad She suffered her first heart attack in prison in 1951 at just 36 years old The same year she was tried and sentenced alongside 11 other people, under the Smith Act, which prohibited alleged activities against the United States government The Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal, and in 1955 Jones began his one-year-one-day sentence at the Federal Reformatory for Women in Alderson, West Virginia. She was released on October 23, 1955

Refused to enter Trinidad and Tobago, she was eventually offered asylum in the UK on humanitarian grounds Her contribution to society upon arrival was prolific She got involved in the community British Afro-Caribbean to organize access to basic facilities, as well as to lead the movement for equal rights At the time, many owners, shops and even a number of government establishments had signs on buildings that read: « No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish » She campaigned against racism in housing, education and employment and spoke at the Trade Union Congress Jones then traveled to other communist countries including Russia and China, where she met Mao Zedong In March 1958, she founded the West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian News, both of whom have become key voices in Britain’s black community and the anti-racist movementJones also helped organize campaigns against the Commonwealth Immigrants Bill, which would make it more difficult for non-whites to migrate to Britain (unfortunately it was passed in 1962), and went out against racism in the workplace

Notting Hilll was plagued by race riots in 1958 The riots unfolded alongside unrest similar to Robin Hood Chase in the city of Nottingham As a result, leaders of several communities flocked to Jones, upset by racist reporting of the events in the national news, and asked him what to do She suggested « washing the taste of Notting Hill and Nottingham out of our mouths » by hosting a carnival to celebrate all that was good in the British black community At St Pancras Town Hall in January 1959, Jones hosted the first Mardi-Gras carnival The event, embodied by the slogan « The art of a people is the genesis of its freedom », was broadcast nationally by the BBCJones and the West Indian Gazette went on to organize five more Caribbean Carnival indoor cabarets at venues in London such as Seymour Hall, Porchester Hall and Lyceum Ballroom. The events were seen as the precursors to the famous street festival that takes place every August in Notting Hill today

Black History Month 2020 events: what’s happening in the UK and what activities you can participate in

Jones died on Christmas Eve 1964, at the age of 49 Her body was found on Christmas Day in her apartment An autopsy found she had suffered a massive heart attack, caused by a heart disease and tuberculosis Her funeral on January 9, 1965 was a grand political ceremony She is buried to the left of the grave of her hero, Karl Marx, in Highgate Cemetery, North London

Claudia Jones, Notting Hill Carnival, West Indian Gazette, Trinidad and Tobago, Google Doodle

News from around the world – UK – Why is a Google Doodle famous Claudia Jones, founder of Notting Hill Carnival, today



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