1. Brief history

    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.

  2. What's available

    There is a more detailed book on the subject, 'The 1945 Pan-African Congress Revisited', by Hakim Adi and Marika Sherwood. This has more information on the Congress itself, but also 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). We don't have this in stock, but are trying to get a copy. We do however, have an article by Janet Reid on 'Employment of Negroes in Manchester' (Sociological Review, New Series, vol. 4,1956). This summarises a longer unpublished report on the employment of black people in the city between October 1954 and 1955.

    Reference to West Africans is also made in the Manchester Evening Chronicle 1958 series 'Strangers in our Midst'.

    The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu (2020) is a novel about a half-Nigerian teenager trying to connect with her Igbo-Nigerian culture  942.7331NZE

  3. How to access

    Library members can find and reserve the resources mentioned by following the links to our library catalogue.

  4. Photographs

    See photos and more of our albums on Flickr.

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