In October 1945, key figures of the African continent gathered in Manchester, England for the 5th Pan-African Congress. It was the largest meeting of its kind ever seen, with some of the world’s great liberationists and civil-rights campaigners attending. On their agenda were two simple goals:
1. A push for equality of all people, regardless of race
2. The end to racial discrimination against people in public places.
In a small town hall just south of the industrial city people like WEB Du Bois, Amy Ashwood Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta gathered. Each would leave inspired to keep pushing for the liberation of Africa from colonial rule, and the equality of black people all over the world.
No single event has had such an impact on the history of Africa and people. With European powers still reeling from the cost of WW2, and facing calls from independence from colonies, the remainder of the 20th century would see the steady end to colonialism in Africa, and the emergence of independent African countries.
This chapter in history is often overlooked today, even in Manchester itself. But in an age of #blacklivesmatter and the resurgence of white supremacy in the West, moments like this have never mattered more.