The Life of a Black Woman Radical: Claudia Jones

April 28, 2020
The Life of a Black Woman Radical: Claudia Jones

The Specter speaks with Jaimee Swift, founder of Black Women Radicals, about the life of Black Communist, Claudia Jones. Jones was an immigrant from the British West Indies (now known as Trinidad), and spent most of her youth and adult life in Harlem, New York. She joined the Young Communist League at the age of 19 during the Scottsboro Case and went on to become a leader in the Communist Party, USA. As the executive secretary for the CPUSA’s women’s commission, Jones quickly became an astounding writer, journalist and also theoretician for the Party—known widely for her work in “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of Negro Women.” She was eventually tried and imprisoned under the fascist McCarthyite Smith Act and soon deported to London thereafter where she spent the rest of her life organizing the Notting Hill Carnival and the West Indian Gazette Newspaper.

You can find Jaimee’s work at: @blkwomenradical on Twitter @blackwomenradicals on Instagram. Black Women Radicals (BWR) is a Black feminist advocacy organization dedicated to uplifting and centering Black women’s radical political activism.

Further reading:

1. Carole Boyce Davies, Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist, Claudia Jones (2007)

2. Carole Boyce Davies, Beyond Contaiment: Autobiographical Reflections, Essays and Poems (2011)

3. Erik S. McDuffie, Sojourning for Freedom: Black Women, American Communism, and the Making of Black Left Feminism (2011)

4. Claudia Jones, “An End to the Neglect of the Problems of Negro Women”, Political Affairs June 1949


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