Celebrating Claudia Jones
Not for Public Viewing
Claudia Jones, pioneering human rights campaigner, political activist and journalist is celebrated through an exhibition in the new community space at Camden Town Hall. The exhibition, which is on permanent display in the Claudia Jones room, profiles her life and work from her early years in New York to her death in Camden in 1964.
Claudia Jones worked tirelessly for equality and in support of Caribbean communities in London from the 1950s onwards. She set up Britain’s first black newspaper, The West Indian Gazette, organised anti-racism campaigns and put on Britain’s first Caribbean Carnival to enable people to share and celebrate culture.
The Carnival was held in Camden Town Hall in January 1959 and was televised by the BBC. It featured steel bands, calypso singing, dancing, costumes, a beauty pageant and lots of food. The carnival was very successful and ran at venues across London for five years, eventually leading to the Notting Hill Carnival, that still thrives today.
Jones left a lasting legacy and is known as one of the most influential Black leaders of post war Britain. Through photographs and archive material the exhibition charts her journey, her ideas and highlights the huge contribution she made to Britain and our society.