PREFACE
She made of her life a fury against poverty, bigotry, ignorance, prejudice,
war, oppression—for all our sakes.
—RUBY DEE, WEST INDIAN GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 1965
ClogicalJones
laudia was a black woman and a communist, clear about her ideo-
orientation, as she was about her identity as a black woman writ-
ing and doing political work simultaneously. She saw her ‘‘activism through
writing’’ as always linked to struggles for social change and for the creation of
equitable societies. She also saw the implementation of Marxism-Leninism as
a practical possibility, in the realization of a world in which resources were
evenly distributed. But Claudia Jones also belonged to other traditions and
communities, and she was willing to deploy all her positions in them. For her,
the true creative fusion of these allied positions would be her major con-
tribution to a distinctive anti-imperialist politics that positions her ‘‘left of
Karl Marx.’’
This book is not a biography but a study of someone who, in my estima-
tion, is one of the most important black radical thinkers, activists, and orga-
nizers in African diaspora history. The need to reintroduce Claudia Jones and
account for her in all relevant discourses essentially drives this project. I read
Claudia Jones as a black feminist critic of Afro-Caribbean origin. As someone
whose primary fields are literature and culture with an emphasis on black
women’s writing, approaching the political life and intellectual corpus of
Claudia Jones, I find a series of meanings immediately evident. Primary
among them is that Jones was a black communist woman very conscious of
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