Cumberbatch Family History

Claudia Vera Cumberbatch

Claudia Vera Cumberbatch

Female 1915 - 1964  (49 years)

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  • Name Claudia Vera Cumberbatch  [1
    Born 21 Feb 1915  6 Cazabon Lane, Port of Spain, Trinidad Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Female 
    Emigration 3 Feb 1924  Port of Spain, Trinidad Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Age: 6y 
    • Into Place: New York City, New York, USA
    Immigration 9 Feb 1924  New York City, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Age: 8y 
    • aboard the SS Voltaire
      From Place: Trinidad
    Residence 9 Feb 1924  454 West St Michaels Ave., New York City, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Age: 6y 
    Prison 11 Jan 1955  Alderson, West Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Address:
    Women's Penitentiary 
    • Released 23 October 1955 after numerous petitions for health reasons and her sentence is commuted for "good behaviour". [Source: Left of Karl Marx by Carole Boyce Davis and Claudia Jones.]
    Emigration 5 Dec 1955  New York City, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • She is deported from the USA.
      Into Place: England
    Immigration 14 Dec 1955  Southampton, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • From Place: New York City, New York, USA
    Name Claude Vera Cumberbatch  [2
    Name Claudia Vera Jones  [1, 6
    Occupation 14 Dec 1955  [3
    Journalist 
    Residence 14 Dec 1955  14 Niean Road, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Died 25 Dec 1964  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 6
    Age: 49y 
    Probate 13 Jan 1965  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Reference Number 0000946 
    Residence 25 Dec 1965  58 Lisburne Road, Hampstead, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I946  Cumberbatch
    Last Modified 26 Dec 2016 

    Father Charles Bertrand Cumberbatch 
    Mother Minnie Magdelene Logan 
    Family ID F319  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Abraham Scholnick 
    Married Sep 1940  New York City, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Divorced 27 Feb 1947  New York City, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Last Modified 25 Sep 2011 
    Family ID F320  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 21 Feb 1915 - 6 Cazabon Lane, Port of Spain, Trinidad Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmigration - Age: 6y - 3 Feb 1924 - Port of Spain, Trinidad Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - Age: 8y - 9 Feb 1924 - New York City, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Age: 6y - 9 Feb 1924 - 454 West St Michaels Ave., New York City, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Sep 1940 - New York City, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDivorced - 27 Feb 1947 - New York City, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPrison - Address:
    Women's Penitentiary - 11 Jan 1955 - Alderson, West Virginia, USA
    Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEmigration - 5 Dec 1955 - New York City, New York, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 14 Dec 1955 - Southampton, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 14 Dec 1955 - 14 Niean Road, London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - Age: 49y - 25 Dec 1964 - London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - 13 Jan 1965 - London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 25 Dec 1965 - 58 Lisburne Road, Hampstead, London, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Claudia Cumberbatch
    Claudia Cumberbatch
    Media Date: EST 1960
    Keywords: Picture
    Claudia Jones nee Cumberbatch Passport
    Claudia Jones nee Cumberbatch Passport
    Media Date: EST 1962
    Keywords: Picture

  • Notes 
    • Autobiography

      December 6, 1955

      To Comrade Foster:

      Dear Comrade Foster: The following is an autobiographical (personal, political, medical) history that I promised to forward to you.

      Personal: As a child of eight, I came to the United States from Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies. My mother and father had come to this country two years earlier, in 1922, when their economic status (which were middle-class land owners - on my mother's side and hotel owners on my father's side) had been worsened as a result of the drop in the cocoa trade on the world market, from the West Indies which had impoverished the West Indies and the entire Caribbean. Like thousands of the West Indian immigrants, they hoped to find their fortunes in America where "gold was to be found on the streets" and they dreamed of rearing their children in a "free America."

      This dream was soon disabused. Together with my three sisters, our family suffered not only the impoverished lot of working-class families and its multi-national populace, but early learned the special scourge of indignity stemming from Jim Crow national oppression.

      My formal academic education on American soil began when I entered public school - entering 4A. I have early recollections of being hurt by youngsters of my own age who mouthed anti-West Indian propaganda against me and my sisters. But by the time I reached Junior High School, I had formed friendships and become integrated in the student body and was nominated in Harriett Beecher Junior High for the highest office in the school and was subsequently elected Mayor. (The form of student administration of this particular junior high was patterned after the then - established pattern of the NY City administration). One incident I recall with some pride today; namely that running with me then, as President of the Board of Aldermen was a young Chinese girl. Numerous teachers tried to pressure me to refuse her as a running mate, on the grounds that she was Chinese and that had the situation been reversed, this would not happen in the China of that day. I refused to be drawn in or to accede to any such narrow concept - choosing instead to have her as my running mate. (To use the phrase I excercised 'my peremptory challenge!') We were elected by an overwhelming majority of students, proving the teachers wrong and showing the internationalist approach of the student body.

      I began to wonder why there was wealth and poverty; why there was discrimination and segregation; why there was a contradiction between the ideas contained in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which contravened its precepts of the pursuit for all of "life, liberty and happiness."

      My mother had died two years earlier of spinal meningitis suddenly at her machine in a garment shop. The conditions of non-union organisation, of that day, of speed-up, plus the lot of working women, who are mothers and undoubtedly the weight of immigration to a new land where conditions were far from as promised or anticipated contributed to her early death at the age of 37. My father, who together with her had come earlier to America was left to rear four young girls, the oldest of whom was 14. I am the second child of my parents. This was during the days of the Great Depression. Because of my pride, I didn't ask friendly teachers to help provide me with a graduation outfit, at which I was to receive high honours, including the Theodore Roosevelt Award for Good Citizenship and officiate as Mayor of the school, choosing instead to stay away sending them some lame excuse while I bawled my eyes out in humiliation and self pity.

      I was later to learn that this lot was not just an individual matter, but that millions of working-class people and Negro people suffered this lot under capitalism - if not identical, in one degree or another.

      Following my graduation from Junior high school I entered Wadleigh High School. Here I was confronted with Jim Crow in the classrooms and in the social life of the school. White kids would borrow notes from me in school and then on leaving school would turn their faces the other way under pressure of the Jim Crow society. Teachers with audacity would hold Negro students after school, asking if we wanted to make an extra dollar by doing some domestic work for them or as they not-so-quaintly put it, whether I wished to "wear a pretty white apron" at their own social affairs. Or they would select poems in dialect and ask Negro kids to read these pointedly. While I even then had, as do other Negro youth, a searing indignation for these things, I didn't know that they were part of a conscious plan designed to perpetuate the national oppression of the Negro people in the US of which these incidents were reflections of the badge of inferiority perpetrated on the Negro people in the North, with the more hideous features of lynching, poll taxes, crop lien laws and economic strangulation devolving on Negro people in the heartland of their oppression in the black belt of the South.

      My formal academic education, in a bourgeois sense, ended with my graduation from Wadleigh High School. One year before my graduation however, in the midst of the great depression where I was one of the so-called "lost generation" of American youth, I contracted tuberculosis of the lung. My family's economic condition had worsened as had millions of American families, native and foreign born and second generation etc. My Dad who was an editor of an American-West Indian newspaper lost his job and also later when he became a furrier and had to guarantee our support, became a superintendent of an apartment in Harlem where I lived all my life in the US. In the room where I slept, it was later discovered that an open sewerage flowed and undoubtedly it was this dampness that contributed to my contraction of TB. I was sent to Sea View Sanatorium from Harlem Hospital at the age of 17, where, with pnemothorax treatment for my condition, I fully recovered since fortunately my sputum was never positive. I was there for one full year. There too, I had an opportunity to read avidly, to think deeply about the social ideas instilled in me by my mother and father. My mother had left the Catholic Church, in which faith we were baptised from early childhood choosing to become a Bible student, since her alert mind rejected early the hierarchical teachings of Catholicism. My father's social ideas instilled in us were that of a pride and consciousness of our people, of our relation to Africa, from which my antecedents sprang, to our interrelationship to Caribbean independence the dream of San Simeon, great Caribbean patriot; to the new recognition of the struggle for Negro equality in the US linked indissolubly as I later learned with the freedom and equality in the American trade unions and working-class as the future class of society. One incident, I remember while in Sea View - namely when I gave a blood transfusion voluntarily (since I was her blood type), to a young Italian woman patient. This created quite a stir in the hospital on the question of "black blood" and "white blood". Many of the white patients looked for days to see if the young Italian woman, who was eternally grateful (to the point of my embarassment) to me would turn "black". One of the first hospital speeches I ever heard was from a young Jewish doctor who in the midst of this scientific ignorance stood in the middle of the ward and gave a lecture to the interracial patients asserting that the inviolability of blood types as the antithesis of any false teaching on "race".

      Upon recovery, I completed the last term of High School at Wadleigh. Upon graduation, I went to work in a factory, since college was out for me and I had to help support myself and contribute to the family larder.

      My first job was in a laundry, where I observed, under the incredible (to me then) conditions of overwork, speed-up etc., in the heat of summer, young Negro women fainting regularly because of the unbearable conditions. I didn't want to become like them, so I went to work in a factory. But being unskilled, my job was setting nail heads - with a toothpick, a small jar of paste and placing these in the nail head setting. Boredom and ennui set in and I quit this job. Besides the pay was about $14 a week. Next, I got a job in a Harlem millinery store and lingerie shop as a salesgirl. This continued for quite a while about two years or so.

      These were the years of the Ethiopian war and the invasion of Mongolia. During this period (1935-36) I worked on a Negro Nationalist newspaper, where I wrote a column (circulation about 4-5000 copies) and had a weekly column called "Claudia's Comments." My job consisted there also of writing précis of the main editorial comments in Ethiopia from general commercial press, Negro rights, trade union press etc. To my amazement, on attending one of their meetings (of the nationalists) I saw my boss reading my précis to the applause and response of thousands of community people in Harlem, men and women. When the next day, he would come in and tell me what a "Big Negro" he was I would challenge his facts. What he did was to read books on Ethiopia all day and fuse his accumulated knowledge with my précis, which were listened to by thousands of people in the mass rallies held by nationalists in Harlem. I spent a lot of time coming from work listening also to the street corner meetings of the various political parties and movements in Harlem. This was the days of the famed Scottsboro Boys Frame up. I was, like millions of Negro people, white progressives and people stirred by this heinous frame up. I was impressed by the Communist speakers who explained the reasons for this brutal crime against young Negro boys; and who related the Scottsboro case to the struggle of the Ethiopian people against fascism and Mussolini's invasion. Friends of mine, who were Communist, although I didn't know it then, seeing my interest, began to have frequent discussions with me. I joined the Party in February 1936 and was assigned to work in the YCL shortly after. My first assignment was secretary of the YCL executive committee in Harlem and it was about this time, I got a job in the Business Dept of the DW. This job coincided with my application for a $150 a week job in the field of dramatics with the Federal Theatre Project under WPA. I took the job at The Worker for $12-15 a week instead.

      During my teens I was active in numerous social clubs in the community in Junior NAACP, in tennis clubs and also studied dramatics at the Urban League. I performed in this capacity with a troupe in many churches in the Harlem community and in Brooklyn.

      The National Negro Congress first organising conference had been held in Chicago. It was when I met James Ashford, outstanding Young Communist Leader who died at the age of 27, that I was oriented to work in the youth movements, in the YCL.

      During the next ten years from 1936-1946-7 I was active in the YCL and the youth movement. Served as organiser of the YCL in Harlem for a year. 1937, I was sent on a 6 month National Training School of the CP. On my return, I was elected to National Council YCL and became associate editor of the Weekly Review. I was active in the work of the great American Congress, the organisation of the National Council of Negro Youth, the Southern Negro Congress (where I attended many conferences in Alabama, Atlanta, Richmond VA) and also in the National Negro Congress.

      Later I became editor of the Weekly Review, 1938-49. During 1943-45, I became editor of Spotlight, national publication of American Youth for Democracy. This publication, many of whose articles were entered into the Congressional Record and for whom admirals and Senators wrote, inspired the victory in the anti-fascist war among youth and was widely read by GI subscribers throughout the war fronts.

      Worked from 1945-46 as editor of Negro Affairs Daily Worker.

      Elected full member of the National Committee 1945 Convention CP.

      Assigned on "graduation" from youth movement to be Executive Secretary, National Negro Commission CPUSA (1945-46).

      Arrested June 29, 1951 with 17 working-class Communist leaders, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn under the infamous Smith Act for writing an article which described the forward movement of Negro and white women in opposition to the fascist bent world domination US foreign policy. Bail $20,000.

      Rearrested under Walter McCarran Law, October 1951.

      Held with 18 working-class and Communist leaders on Ellis Island in special "Walter-McCarran" wing for 18 days until bail was won $5,000.

      From 1947-52 - active in national women's movements and united front movements such as Congress of American Women; National Council of Negro Women; toured nation - 43 states - in connection with Party assignment of work among women, organising Party Conferences of work among women, helping to implement this arm of our National Committee's work among the masses of women, particularly working class and Negro Women in the struggle against Korean war, for peaceful coexistence between nations, for peace, national dignity, full equality for women and the equal rights of women. This was the basis of my "overt act", an article I wrote, printed in Political Affairs which urged American Women, Negro and white, to unite lest their children like those in Korea suffer the fate of Hiroshima's atomic destruction.

      From [19]52-53 - worked on National Peace Commission of CP giving leadership activity to peace centres, to peace struggle namely around Korean war for the programme registered at Geneva for peaceful coexistence among nations, international friendship in a world of peace.

      July 4, 1953, at the end of trial of 17, suffered heart failure diagnosed as hypertensive cardio-vascular disease. Hospitalised at Mt Sinai for 21 days. Took 5 months leave of absence. Placed on digitalis and drugs for control of hypertension. Hospitalised again for coronary disease in December 1953. Two months leave. Returned to work again served as editor of Negro Affairs Quarterly and special fields of work among Negro people, participated as member of NAC, throughout this period.

      January 11, 1955 entered prison serving a year and a day sentence at the Federal reformatory for Women at Aldeson, W. VA. got 72 days off, serving 9 months and 18 days for so called "good behaviour". Won first Prize, Blue Ribbon on August State Fair of W.A. for women...skills learned there. Was to be summarily deported straight to the Caribbean from Prison on October 23 day of release this year...but for protests here and abroad and intervention of British authorities. Brought suit for first time in challenge to the Walter McCarran Act which declares it a "crime" to be a non-citizen even or permanent resident alien but was forced to withdraw my suit due to my health status which is precarious and must be guarded.

      December 9 - scheduled to leave US after residing here for 32 years in the United States.

      I think this sort of summarises it. I should add (happily), due to digitalis poisoning while imprisoned I was taken off digitalis August 3, 1955 and have not had to use other than occasionally nitroglycerine for heart pain - which I have used now for 2 months and only used on two occasions during the last year when imprisoned. Now on drugs (supercil) for control of hypertension. If you summarise the medical status you should know that at the time of my imprisonment admitted by a court appointed physician - contrary to the attitude of the first women prison physicians I was diagnosed as suffering from essential hypertension, cardiac disease and coronary arteriosclerosis - with my background of arrested tuberculosis - the exact diagnosis of my personal physician.

      I wrote this quite fully in the full knowledge, Dear Comrade Foster that your extracts would contain only what you consider pertinent, but I gave it as fully as I can to facilitate that end.


      Best personal regards
      to you and Comrade Esther
      Comradely yours,

      Claudia Jones.


      P.S. I was married to Abraham Scholnick in September 1940 in NYC. I was divorced February 27, 1947. My plans are to remarry in England within the next few months.

      P.P.S. At the age of 23 I applied and received my certificate for first papers for American citizenship - but this was denied me by th US Government since I was politically active from the age of 18.

      Source: "Claudia Jones. Beyond Containment" pp.10-16 by Carole Boyce Davies
    • Claudia was born 21st February 1915 at 6 Cazabon Lane, Port of Spain, Trinidad. She was the daughter of Charles Bertrand Cumberbatch and his wife Sybil (aka Minnie Magdelene) nee Logan. Claudia was named "Claude" by her parents. In search of a better future, she arrived at Ellis Island, New York, USA on 9 February 1924 with her sisters Sylvia, Meta, Irene and Lindsay. She travelled to the US on the SS Voltaire and her final destination was to be Harlem in New York. Between 1930-1935 she attended Wadleigh High School, but in 1933 her mother died of spinal meningitis aged 37 years and two years before Claudia graduated.

      As a child of eight I came to the United States from Port of Spain, Trinidad, British West Indies. My mother and father had come to this country two years earlier, in 1922, when their economic status... had been worsened as a result of the drop in cocoa trade from the West Indies which had impoverished the West Indies and the entire Caribbean. Like thousands of West Indian immigrants, they hoped to find their fortunes in America where "gold was to be found on the streets" and they dreamed of rearing their children in a "free America." This dream was soon disabused. Together with my three sisters, our family suffered not only the impoverished lot of working-class native families, and its multi-national populace, but early learned the special scourge of indignity stemming from Jim Crow national oppression."

      [Source: Unpublished autobiographical notes, December 6, 1955. Claudia Jones Memorial Collection, Schomburg Library, New York and quoted in "Left of Karl Marx"]
      1934
      Claudia was committed to Sea View Sanatorium for almost a year after having been diagnosed with tuberculosis.
      1935
      Graduates from high school and begins working in a laundry, factory, millinery and sales.
      1935-1936

      Involved in Scottsboro Boys organizing, which the film "Mississippi Burning" is based upon. Writes "Claudia's Comments" for a black newspaper; becomes editor of a youth paper, organ of Youth Clubs of Harlem and attends Harlem rallies.

      During this period I worked on a Negro Nationalist newspaper where I wrote a column (circulation about 4-5,000 copies) and had a weekly column called "Claudia's Comments." My job consisted there also of writing precis of the main editorial comments on Ethiopia from general commercial press, Negro workers trade union press etc. During the next ten years from 1936-1946/7, I was active in the YCL [Youth Communist League] and the youth movement. Served as organiser of the YCL in Harlem for a year. 1937 was sent to a six month National Training School of the CP [Communist Party]. On my return was elected to National Council YCL and became associate editor of the Weekly Review... Later I became editor of the Weekly Review (138-40). During 1943-45, became editor of Spotlight national publication of American Youth for Democracy... Worked from 1945-46 as editor of Negro Affairs Daily Worker... Elected full member National Committee 1945 Convention CP [Communist Party]... Arrested June 29, 1951 with 17 working class Communist leaders, including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, under the infamous Smith Act for writing and article which described the forward movement of Negro and white women in opposition to the fascist bent world domination US foreign policy.

      [Source: Claudia Jones Memorial Collection (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, USA and quoted in "Left of Karl Marx"]
      1938

      Becomes New York State Chair and National Council Member of the Young Communist League. Attends National Council of Negro Youth, Southern Negro Congress, National Negro Congress. Visits American Congress. Files preliminary papers for U.S. citizenship.
      1941
      Becomes Educational Director of Young Communist League.
      1942
      Surveillance by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) begins.
      1946-46
      Becomes Editor, Negro Affairs, Daily Worker. Elected full member of the National Committee of Communist Party USA at its annual convention.
      1947-1952
      Active in US national women's movements.
      1948

      Arrested for the first time on 19 January 1948 and imprisoned on Ellis Island under the 1918 Immigration Act. Released on $1000 bail on 20 January and threatened with deportation to Trinidad on 26 January. She would later this year go on to tour 43 US states. Her deportation hearing is postponed as people will not testify against her.
      1950

      16 February 1950 her deportation hearing resumes. She gives a speech in March on "International Women's Day and the Struggle for Peace", which is later cited as an "overt act" in her subsequent arrest 23 October 1950. She is held at Ellis Island under the McCarran Act and detained at New York City Women's Prison on 17 November. She is released on bail 21 December and her deportation order was served.
      1951

      She speaks in Harlem whilst on bail and is arrested for the third time on 29 June 1951 under the Smith Act, along with 16 other communists including Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. She is released on $20,000 bail on 23 July 1951.
      1953

      Convicted under Smith Act on 21 January 1953 and sentenced to one year and a day plus $200 fine. She suffers heart failure and is hospitalised for 21 days at the end of her trial. She is diagnosed with hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

      It was in an American junior school where I first learned of the great traditions of popular liberty of American history, for which I then received the Theodore Roosevelt Award for good citizenship. That I have learned to interpret that history and to work to influence its change for the betterment of the people with the indispensable weapon of Marxist-Leninist ideas, that is the real crime against me.

      Of all other charges I am innocent.

      It was here on this soil (and not as Mr. Lane would depict to this Court, as a young child of eight years of age waving revolutionary slogans), that I had early experiences which are shared by millions of native born Negroes – the bitter indignity and humiliation of second-class citizenshhip, the special status which makes a mockery of our Government's prated claims of a "free America" in a "free world" for 15 million Negro Americans.

      It was out of my Jim Crow experiences as a young Negro woman, experiences likewise born of working-class poverty that led me in my search of why these things had to be that led me to join the Young Communist League and to choose at the age of 18 the philosophy of my life, the science of Marxism-Leninism – that philosophy that not only rejects racist ideas, but is the antitheses of them.

      [Source: Statement before being sentenced, 21 January 1953. Cited in "Claudia Jones. Beyond Containment" p.9 by Carole Boyce Davies]
      1955

      Imprisoned in Women's Penitentiary, Alderson, West Virginia 11 January 1955. Released 23 October after numerous petitions for health reasons and her sentence is commuted for "good behaviour". She stays with her father. She is hospitalised at Mount Sinai Hospital following a heart attack attributed to the conditions of her imprisonment. 5 December her deportation is ordered. 22 December she arrived in London, England.
      1956-1957

      Becomes affiliated with Caribbean members of the Communist Party of Great Britain and joins the West Indian Forum and Committee on Racism and International Affairs. Works for Caribbean Labour Congress and helped edit the Caribbean News.
      1956
      Hospitalised in London.

      I sought on the second day after arriving in England to secure a passport since I wanted to evade the rigours of the English winter in my health's interest, suffering as I do from a chronic heart ailment. My passport was not granted to me at that time, with no reason given me by the Passport Office. Later, in February of last year, 1956, I again applied while hospitalised with a heart attack at which time I received a communication from the Passport Office that they saw no reason why they should grant me a passport although they stressed they would happily give me a travel document to return to Trinidad. Besides carrying a strong hint of the "colonial go home" approach, they suggested that insofar as my health needs were concerned the Caura Sanitorium in Trinidad might be the place to cater to my health... Now, the Passport Office has broadly indicated that the fly in the ointment is not here - but in Trinidad, since being a subject of Trinidad, permission must be granted there. Besides being questionable, this seems to be a case of discrimination against me personally and as a citizen of Trinidad and the UK. If my assumptions are invalid as regards discrimination, then now that my qualification of residency has been met, and I have secured a prominent recommender, my own physician, certainly there should be no difficulty in what ought to be a routine matter. If it is a question of political views, this would not apply if I were of English birth since such people of all political persuasions, including Marxists, are not denied the right to travel out of England, because of their political views. Am I then to conclude that this special discrimination holds against me solely as a West Indian woman?

      [Source: Claudia Jones Memorial Collection, Schomburg Research Center and quoted in "Left of Karl Marx". Claudia's last passport is dated 1962].

      I was victim of the McCarthyite hysteria against independent political ideas in the USA, a hysteria which penalizes anyone who holds ideas contrary to the official pro-war, pre-reactionary, pro-fascist line of white ruling class of that country.
      I was deported from the USA because as a Negro woman Communist of West Indian descent, I was a thorn in their side in my opposition to Jim Crow['s] racist discrimination against 16 million Negro Americans in the United States.
      [I was deported for] my work for redress of those grievances, for unity of Negro and white workers, for women's rights and my general political activity urging American people to help by their struggles to change the present foreign and domestic policy of the United States.
      I was deported and refused an opportunity to complete my American citizenship because I fought for peace, against the huge arms budget which funds should be directed to improving the social needs of the people.
      I was deported because I urged the prosecution of lynchers rather than prosecution of Communists and other democratic Americans who oppose the lynchers and big financiers and warmongers, the real advocates of force and violence in the USA.

      [Source: Interview with George Bowrin in Caribbean News, June 1956, quoted in Johnson "I think of my Mother" and in "Left of Karl Marx"]
      1958
      Founded West Indian Gazette.
      1959

      First London Caribbean Carnival was held at St Pancras Hall, London on 30 January. This was to heal the wounds following the murder of Kelso Cochrane, an Antiguan man, by a white gang. Kelso has moved to London in 1954 and settled in Notting Hill working as a carpenter whilst saving for a legal career. After returning from Paddington General Hospital Accident and Emergency, following treatment for a broken thumb, he was attacked. He was stabbed through the heart and died in hospital. More than 1,200 people attended his funeral. No one was proscuted for his murder.
      1962
      Visits Soviet Union as guest of Soviet Women. Tours Leningrad and Sevastpool.
      1964

      Works with African National Congress to organise hunger strikes against apartheid and for freedom for Nelson Mandela. Meets Martin Luther King in London on his way to collect his Nobel Peace Prize. Travels to China as a guest of the China Peace Committee and meets Chairman Mao. Dies of heart failure on Christmas Eve. Death index: Name: JONES, Claudia V; Registration District: Hampstead; County: London; Year of Registration: 1964 Dec Quarter; Age at death: 49; Volume: 5C, Page No: 889.
      1965

      Her funeral draws recognition from Governments around the world. 9 January cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, London. Memorial meeting held in Peking, China by Committee of British and American Friends of Claudia Jones on 21 February. Interment of Jones' ashes in plot to the left of the grave of Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery, London on 27 February.
      1984

      Headstone erected; inscription reads: "Claudia Vera Jones, Born Trinidad 1915, Died London 25.12.1964, Valiant Fighter against racism and imperialism who dedicated her life to the progress of socialism and the liberation of her own black people".
      2008
      July: Two plaques are placed in her honour in Tavistock Road/Portobello Road, London and at the Carnival Village, Powis Square, London. October: Claudia is commemorated on the 72p stamp as part of the Women of Distinction series.
      Further reading
      Claudia Jones A Life in Exile by Marika Sherwood, Left of Karl Marx by Carole Boyce Davis and Claudia Jones. Beyond Containment by Carole Boyce Davis. The above chronology was mainly sourced from Left of Karl Marx.
    • 1965
      CUMBERBATCH or JONES Claudia Vera of 58 Lisburne Road Hampstead London N.W.3. died 25 December 1964 Administration (limited) London 13 January to Abhimanyu Manchanda journalist and company director. £876.
      [1]

  • Sources 
    1. [S11606] Will of Claudia Vera Cumberbatch aka Claudia Vera Jones died 25 December 1965.

    2. [S316] Births Trinidad & Tobago 1915 North Eastern District, Port of Spain, Cumberbatch Claude Vera, (Printed in book: "Claudia Jones Beyond Containment" p: xviii by Carole Boyce Davies 2011).

    3. [S320] UK Immigration Passenger List Queen Elizabeth 14 Dec 1955 Claudia Jones.

    4. [S319] NYC Immigration Passenger List SS Voltaire 9 Feb 1924 Claudia Cumberbatch.

    5. [S318] Claudia Jones' Autobiography, (Published in book: "Claudia Jones Beyond Containment" 2011 by Carole Boyce Daveis).

    6. [S317] Deaths England & Wales 1964 Dec Hampstead, Jones Claudia Vera.