Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


VIRTUAL EVENT: LLRG Seminar — Connecting Past and Present: Claudia Jones and Brexit Britain

13 October 2020, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

claudia jones

We are delighted to invite you to the first seminar of the Literary London Reading Group of the academic year 2020/2021: with Kennetta Hammond Perry (De Montfort University)

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to





Alistair Robinson, Alexander Grafen, Naomi Hinds
alexander.grafen.16@ucl.ac.uk, naomi.hinds.18@ucl.ac.uk

Book and join here

Undeniably, one of the most well-known figures in twentieth century Black British history is a Black woman—the venerable Claudia Jones. Born in 1915 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Jones spent the majority of her life in Harlem, New York where she began her career as a political writer, speaker and organizer under the auspices of the Communist Party. In 1955, she arrived in Britain as an asylum seeker after the U.S. Government incarcerated and deported her for her political activities during the height of McCarthyism. During the nine years that she spent in Britain before her death in 1964, she became a pillar of an emergent postcolonial Black British political culture. This session will explore some of the key angles of Jones’s political work in Britain during the 1950s and early 1960s. More importantly, the session aims to highlight some of the ways that Claudia Jones’s ideas and her understanding of history provides a resource for understanding race and racism in our current political landscape.

About the speaker

Kennetta Hammond Perry is Director of the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre and a Reader in History at De Montfort University in Leicester. Previously, she was an Associate Professor of History and Co-Director of the African & African American Studies Program at East Carolina University in the USA. Her research interests include transnational race politics, archives of Black life, Black women’s history and histories of state violence in Britain. She has published widely including a book on postwar Afro-Caribbean migration to Britain and the politics of race and citizenship titled, London Is the Place For Me: Black Britons, Citizenship and the Politics of Race (Oxford, 2016).