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Celebrating Black History

The school community has helped to fund a blue plaque in Camden to commemorate the Trinidad and Tobago-born activist, Claudia Jones.

During last year’s Black History Month, the Diversity & Inclusion team announced plans to fundraise for the Nubian Jak Community Trust (NJCT) that celebrates the historic contributions of Black and minority ethnic people in Britain and beyond. Students raised nearly £2,000 through selling badges, a raffle and a non-uniform day to help sponsor the new heritage plaque, which features the school name alongside that of Claudia Jones. The pioneering feminist, political activist and journalist reportedly stressed that: ‘No peace can be obtained if any women, especially those who are oppressed and impoverished, are left out of the conversation.’  As well as founding Britain’s first commercial Black newspaper, the West Indian Gazette, Jones helped to launch a Caribbean carnival in 1959, which later became the Notting Hill carnival.

On Monday 18th December, the blue plaque was unveiled at 58 Lisburne Road in Gospel Oak, where Jones lived and passed away in 1964. Pupils from our Diversity & Inclusion team were invited to attend the inauguration ceremony; the winners of our fundraising raffle had the opportunity to be memorialised too, by signing their names on the back of the plaque. Following an address by the Mayor of Camden, students Amalie, Arya, Mehr and Riya spoke out in front of the assembled guests and media about the importance of sharing the stories and achievements of those traditionally underrepresented in history.

Head of South Hampstead, Mrs Paul, commented: “As a community, we are proud to help acknowledge an important member of our local Black history. Claudia Jones was a committed campaigner for social and racial justice and equality. She had the courage to stand up for what she believed in and make a difference, so it’s an honour to play a part in ensuring that her contributions are remembered.” 

Watch a short video here.

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