Claudia Jones, born Claudia Cumberbatch in Belmont, Port-of-Spain, was a feminist, black nationalist, political activist, community leader, communist and journalist, and has been described as the mother of the Notting Hill carnival, which she helped launch in 1959 as an annual showcase for Caribbean talent.
For over 30 years she lived in New York and during this time became an active member of the American Communist party, an organisation in which her journalistic and community leadership skills were maximised. By 1948 she had become the editor of Negro Affairs for the party’s paper the Daily Worker and had evolved into an accomplished speaker on human and civil rights.
In 1955 she was deported from the US and given asylum in England, where she spent her remaining years working with London’s African-Caribbean community. She founded and edited The West Indian Gazette which despite financial problems remained crucial in her fight for equal opportunities for black people.