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Claudia Jones memorial lecture

The NUJ's Black members' council organises the Claudia Jones memorial lecture.

The lecture is held every year as part of London's Black History Month in honour of pioneering radical journalist, Claudia Jones. She was born in Trinidad in 1924, but later moved to New York where she encountered poverty and discrimination.

In 1936, she joined the Young Communist League and joined the staff of the Daily Worker. She was arrested in 1955 and served a year in prison before being deported and given asylum in the UK.

Confronted by posters saying "No blacks, no dogs, no Irish", she became a leader in the Black equal rights movement that was emerging in London's Notting Hill and founded The West Indian Gazette, one of the first Black newspapers in the UK.

Claudia always believed that "a people's art is the genesis of their freedom" and in 1959 was one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival. Today the carnival is the biggest in Europe and is a fitting memorial to Claudia's life of activism and campaigning. Claudia died in London on Christmas Day, 1964, and is buried in Highgate Cemetery next to Karl Marx.

Read and watch previous Claudia Jones memorial lectures: