Biography

Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones

By Carole Boyce Davies

In Left of Karl Marx, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915–1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical highbrow, devoted communist, and feminist. Jones is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery, to the left of Karl Marx—a position that Boyce Davies reveals becoming given how Jones extended Marxism-Leninism to include gender and race in her political critique and activism.

Claudia Cumberbatch Jones was once born in Trinidad. In 1924, she moved to ny, the place she lived for the subsequent thirty years. She used to be energetic within the Communist celebration from her early twenties onward. a skilled author and speaker, she traveled through the usa lecturing and organizing. within the early Fifties, she wrote a well known column, “Half the World,” for the Daily Worker. because the U.S. govt intensified its efforts to prosecute communists, Jones was once arrested a number of instances. She served approximately a yr in a U.S. felony sooner than being deported and given asylum by way of nice Britain in 1955. There she based The West Indian Gazette and Afro-Asian Caribbean News and the Caribbean Carnival, an annual London competition that keeps this present day because the Notting Hill Carnival. Boyce Davies examines Jones’s inspiration and journalism, her political and neighborhood organizing, and poetry that the activist wrote whereas she was once imprisoned. the contents of the FBI dossier on Jones, Boyce Davies contrasts Jones’s personal narration of her existence with the federal government’s. Left of Karl Marx establishes Jones as an important determine inside of Caribbean highbrow traditions, black U.S. feminism, and the historical past of communism.

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Writes ‘‘Claudia’s Comments’’ for a black newspaper; turns into editor of a early life paper, organ of Federated adolescence golf equipment of Harlem. Attends Harlem rallies. 1936 Joins Communist occasion and younger Communist League; assigned to adolescence flow. 1937 turns into affiliate Editor of Weekly evaluation and Secretary of the administrative Committee of younger Communist League in Harlem. hired within the enterprise division of the day-by-day employee. Attends six-month education institution of the Communist get together. 1938 turns into long island kingdom Chair and nationwide Council member of younger Communist League. Attends nationwide Council of Negro formative years, Southern Negro Congress, nationwide Negro Congress. Visits American Congress. records initial papers for U. S. citizenship. 1940 Marries Abraham Scholnick. 1941 turns into academic Director of younger Communist League. 1942 competitive surveillance by way of fbi starts off. 1943–1945 1943 1945–1946 turns into editor of highlight, American early life for Democracy. turns into Editor-in-Chief of Weekly assessment. turns into Editor, Negro Affairs, day-by-day employee. Elected complete member of the nationwide Committee of Communist occasion united states at its annual conference. 1947–1952 lively in nationwide women’s hobbies and United entrance hobbies, reminiscent of Congress of yank girls and nationwide Council of Negro ladies. 1947 Divorced in Mexico (February 27). turns into Secretary, Women’s fee, Communist get together united states. 1948 Arrested for first time ( January 19); imprisoned on Ellis Island below 1918 Immigration Act. published on $1000 bail ( January 20). Threatened with deportation to Trinidad ( January 26). Speaks at could Day Rally in la. Assigned through get together to paintings with working-class and black social gathering ladies for peace and equality. excursions forty-three U. S. states, together with the west coast, reorganizing state-level women’s commissions, recruiting new get together participants, and organizing mass xxiv Chronology rallies. Deportation listening to starts yet is postponed simply because humans won't testify opposed to her. 1950 Deportation listening to resumes (February 16). Appointed trade member of the nationwide Committee, Communist occasion united states. offers speech in March (‘‘International Women’s Day and the fight for Peace’’), that is later pointed out as ‘‘overt act’’ in her next arrest. Arrested for moment time (October 23) and held at Ellis Island below McCarran Act. Detained at ny urban Women’s legal (November 17). published on bail (December 21). Deportation order served. 1951 Speaks in Harlem whereas on bail. Arrested for 3rd time ( June 29) below Smith Act, in addition to 16 different communists (including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn). published on $20,000 bail ( July 23, 1951). Deportation listening to keeps. 1952–1953 1953 Serves on nationwide Peace fee at finish of Korean conflict. Convicted lower than Smith Act ( January 21). Sentenced to 1 yr and an afternoon and $200 fine. Suffers center failure and is hospitalized for twenty-one days on the finish of her trial. December, hospitalized back. clinically determined with hypertensive heart problems. 1954 turns into Editor of Negro Affairs Quarterly.

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