Claudia Jones, feminist, anti-racist activist and organizer of what has become the precursor of the hugely popular Notting Hill Carnival in London, is today honored as Google Doodle in the UK.
On this day in 2008, Jones received a large British postage stamp in the “Women of Distinction” series to commemorate her life of pioneering activism. A multi-talented individual, Jones was not categorized by title or profession. She has proven to be a voice for the black community across the world.
[Update]: This article has been edited to correct the misconception that Claudia Jones was the “Founder” or “Mother” of the Notting Hill Carnival. Jones helped organize five annual Caribbean Carnival indoor cabarets and events that acted as a precursor to the formation of the Notting Hill Carnival.
This honor belongs to that of Rhaune Laslett (also known as Rhaune Laslett-O’Brien), daughter of a Native American mother and Russian father. Laslett’s working on the organization of The Notting Hill Fayre and Pageant 1966 is widely regarded as the “real” start of Notting Hill Carnival.
Claudia Jones was born Claudia Vera Cumberbatch on February 21, 1915 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. At age 8, she and her family emigrated to Harlem, New York. An avid writer, Jones contributed to and edited a variety of Communist publications as a young adult, and she spent much of her adulthood as an active member of the American Communist Party.
A champion of civil rights, gender equality and decolonization, Claudia Jones has focused much of her work on liberating black women around the world from the racism, classism and sexism they face (and which they are still confronted) every day.
As an activist, Jones has been jailed several times. This ultimately led to her deportation to the UK in 1955. However, undeterred, she continued to work tirelessly with the West Indian community in London. Jones also helped organize events and indoor concerts that helped pave the way for the creation of the annual Notting Hill Carnival, which celebrates the shared history of the Caribbean community in London and the UK.
Today, on going to the UK main search page, visitors will see Google doodle starring Claudia Jones showcasing her in the UK and across the world.
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