Marika Sherwood's booklet on 'Manchester and the 1945 Pan-African Congress' (1995) has a great deal of information on the history of black communities in Manchester, and has a section of biographies of Mancunians involved in the Congress and on black communities in 1940s Manchester. The Pan-African Congress was held in Chorlton Town Hall in October 1945, and was notable in providing a platform for people who went on to take a leading role in the struggle against colonial rule, including Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of Kenya.
There is a more detailed book on the subject, 'The 1945 Pan-African Congress Revisited', by Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood. This has much more information on the Congress itself, but also has useful background on black people in Manchester.
One of the local delegates was Len Johnson, a boxer who was prevented from fighting for British championships because he was black. His story is told in Michael Herbert's booklet, 'Never Counted Out'.
A key source for the early post-war period would be Eyo Bassey Ndem, 'Negro Immigrants in Manchester', (University of London M.A. thesis, 1953). This is not currently in stock, but we are trying to obtain a copy. However, we do have an article by Janet Reid on 'Employment of Negroes in Manchester' (Sociological Review, New Series, vol. 4,1956) in the Science and Humanities Library. This summarises a longer unpublished report on the employment of black people in Manchester between October 1954 and 1955.
Reference to West Africans is also made in the Manchester Evening Chronicle 1958 series 'Strangers in our Midst'.
Manchester Archives Flickr photostream
The photographs above can also be viewed directly on the Flickr site where you will find many more sets on Manchester Archives Flickr photostream.