Updated: Oct 11, 2021
Google Doodle celebrates the visionary feminist and Marxist who developed the theory of triple oppression which connects race, class and gender to oppression. Founder of the first Black British newspaper and mother of the Notting Hill Carnival during Black History Month UK.
Today’s Doodle commemorates Trinidad-born activist, feminist, journalist, orator, and community organizer Claudia Jones. Among her groundbreaking accomplishments, Jones founded and served as the editor-in-chief for the West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News—Britain’s first, major Black newspaper. Through its global news coverage, the Gazette aimed to unify the Black community in the worldwide battle against discrimination. The publication also provided a platform for Jones to organize Britain’s first Caribbean carnival in 1959, which is widely credited as the precursor to today’s annual celebration of Caribbean culture known as the Notting Hill Carnival. On this day in 2008, Jones was honored with a Great British Stamp in the “Women of Distinction” series to commemorate her lifetime of pioneering activism.
Claudia Jones was born Claudia Vera Cumberbatch on February 21, 1915 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. At 8 years old, she moved with her family to New York City’s Harlem neighborhood. Passionate about writing, Jones contributed to and led a variety of communist publications as a young adult, and she spent much of her adulthood as an active member of the Communist Party USA.
Throughout her life, Jones tirelessly championed issues like civil rights, gender equality, and decolonization through journalism, community organization, and public speaking. She focused much of her work on the liberation of Black women everywhere from the discrimination they faced due to a combination of classism, racism, and sexism.
Jones’ political activity led to multiple imprisonments and ultimately her deportation to the U.K. in 1955, but she refused to be deterred. Beginning a new chapter of her life in Britain, she turned particular attention to the issues facing London’s West Indian immigrant community. In an effort to counteract racial tensions, she inaugurated an annual Caribbean carnival, whose spirit lives on today as a symbol of community and inclusion.
Thank you, Claudia Jones, for your lifelong commitment to a more equitable world.