11 OCTOBER 2018

Illustration credits: Laura Elise Wright, for gal-dem's Windrush Women exhibition (2018) www.lauralauralaura.co.uk

Jessica Huntley was a British publisher and women’s and community rights activist.

In May 1953 Huntley, co-founded the then British Guiana the Women’s Progressive Organization to focus on women’s rights as part of the People’s Progressive Party’s independence struggle.

Five years later she would move to Britain in 1958 with her husband Eric Huntley. Huntley was a keen participator in many grassroots social justice struggles and an active participant in campaigns such as those against “sus” laws that allowed stop and search to continue unchallenged. In 1968 she co-founded ‘Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications’, a radical London-based publishing company, named in honour of two Caribbean liberation fighters. The publication would go on to publish poetry and fiction by writers such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Lemn Sissay and Valerie Bloom.

A blue plaque was unveiled in October 2018 outside the Huntley’s West Ealing home commemorating their work in the founding of Bogle-L’Ouverture and eventually giving Huntley the recognition she deserved. 

What can you do to support this Black History Month?

Check out these organizations: 

You can also read Fawcett's research on The Gender Pay Gap by Ethnicity to find out more about how the pay gap affects women of colour, and our Invisible Women report exploring how race, faith, ethnicity, age, disability, sexuality, location and employment status can combine with gender to create distinct and particularly troubling experiences of discrimination and inequality.