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Claudia Jones: A Life in Exile, with Jade Bentil, Lola Olufemi and Jumanah Younis [online event]

Wednesday February 2 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm

Housmans is delighted to announce this special event in partnership with publishers Lawrence Wishart to celebrate the publication of Claudia Jones: A Life in Exile by Marika Sherwood.

Lawrence Wishart editor Jumanah Younis will be chatting to Jade Bentil and Lola Olufemi about the life of visionary and pioneer Claudia Jones.

Born in Trinidad, Claudia’s family moved to Harlem, New York where Claudia became a leading figure in communist and black politics. Claudia arrived in London in 1955 penniless and friendless. She became active in civil rights campaigns amongst the new West Indian communities established in the capital and launched an annual Carnival (Notting Hill Carnival) to showcase the talents and culture of the Afro-Caribbean community. The book’s particular focus is on the time that Jones spent in Britain.

Claudia Jones: A Life in Exile is a fitting and long overdue testament to a remarkable woman who was quite simply years ahead of her time

Marika Sherwood has published many books and articles on the history of Black peoples in Britain. A founder member of the Black and Asian Studies Association, she remained editor of its newsletter until it ceased publication in 2012. Her latest book is Kwame Nkrumah and the Dawn of the Cold War: the West African National Secretariat, 1945-48, Pluto Press, 2019; Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2020 (with Martin Spafford, Dan Lyndon & Hakim Adi), Explaining the Modern World: Migration, (OCR GCSE History), Hodder Education, 2016.


Jade Bentil is a Black feminist historian and PhD researcher at the University of Oxford. Her scholarship uses oral history methodologies to centre the experiences of women of African and African-Caribbean descent in Britain and their long history of feminist activism. Jade’s debut book, REBEL CITIZEN, uses oral history interviews to explore the lived experiences of Black women who migrated to Britain following the Second World War and is forthcoming from Allen Lane.

Lola Olufemi is a black feminist writer and organiser from London. She is author of Experiments in Imagining Otherwise (Hajar Press, 2021) and Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press, 2020). She was shortlisted for the 2020 Queen Mary Wasafiri New Writing Prize in the Fiction and is currently researching for a PhD with the Stuart Hall Foundation.

Jumanah Younis is books editor at Lawrence Wishart and the creator of the Radical Black Women Series. In the past, she worked as a freelance writer, translator and editor. She has written for publications including the Guardian, Red Pepper and the LRB blog.


An invitation link to this online event will be emailed to you on the day of the event. Confirmation emails sometimes end up in spam folders, so please check there before emailing the shop. Thank you.


If you’d like a copy of the book Claudia Jones: A Life in Exile then choose the book plus entry ticket. If you’d like to support Housmans then please choose a solidarity ticket. There’s also a free access ticket for students, low income and unwaged comrades.

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