The Conference of African Peoples 1939 in  July’s History Today

African People's Conference 1939 (427x640)

The Conference of African Peoples was held in London in July 1939. Organised by the League of Coloured Peoples, the Coloured Film Artistes’ Association, the Negro Welfare Association and other organisations.

Its closing resolution called for the application of the following principles to be applied to African and West Indian colonies:

  • Universal adult suffrage and representative, democratic institutions.
  • Universal, free and compulsory education.
  • Freedom of speech, press and organisation.
  • Full rights for political, Trade Union, Co-operative and peasant organisations, and a minimum level of labour and social legislation.
  • The immediate abrogation of all existing repressive legislation.

The context and proceedings of the Conference are discussed by former BASA Committee member, and now school teacher, Daniel Whittall in the July issue of History Today.

Dan’s Royal Holloway PhD thesis Creolising London: Black West Indian activism and the politics of race and empire in Britain, 1931-1948 can be downloaded at

Africa in Europe

His thesis has already been discussed in Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century by Eve Rosenhaf and Robbie John Macvicar Aitken (Liverpool University Press, 2013)

His reviews of:

Christian Høgsbjerg, L.R. James in Imperial Britain. (Duke University Press. 2014) can be seen at

Marika Sherwood’s book on Henry Sylvester Williams is

Geroge asdmore

Another relevant book is Leslie James’s George Padmore and Decolonization from BelowPan-Africanism, the Cold War, and the End of Empire. (Palgrave Macmillan. 2014)

My 2004 note on the Coloured Film Artists Association can be downloaded here:

Mono 15 Organising in the Film Industry 0.9.04


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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