Today in history: February 15, 1915 – Claudia Jones born.
Jones was a Black woman born in Trinidad who came to the U.S. as a youth. She became a leading communist in the U.S. until McCarthyist repression drove her out of the country. In the 1930s Jones got involved in the movement to defend the Scottsboro Boys, and through that joined and became a leader in the Young Communist League. She went on to many important positions in the Communist Party. She was a powerful speaker, touring the US extensively despite chronic poor health due to childhood tuberculosis.
In the 1950s McCarthyist period she faced heavy repression under the anti-communist Smith Act and McCarren Act. She was jailed and deported, and when Trinidad refused her entry, she ending up in England where she was able to get medical treatment. In England she was also a member of the Communist Party and continued to do prominent anti-racist work there. A trip to China near the end of her life in 1964 inspired her greatly, and upon her return she reiterated her dedication to revolution and Marxism-Leninism. She was buried to the left Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery in North London, and a message from Paul Robeson was read at her funeral.
(image: Claudia Jones reading Pages From a Worker’s Life by William Z. Foster)
Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)