History in the Making

Document Type



When thinking of African independence, one will think of the wave of decolonization that swept the African continent beginning in the 1960s. Little attention is paid to what events led up to decolonization, and where the efforts for independence stemmed from, particularly a little-known meeting that took place in the fall of 1945. Pan-Africanism is central to this paper, as it was a movement which sought to unify all of Africa or African people including diaspora. Definitions differ as to the true extent, which is explained in the paper. This paper will look at the creation and history of the Pan-African movement from the late 19th century leading up to 1945. The pivotal role the Pan-African conference in Manchester, England, in October of 1945, played in Africa’s future will be explained. Finally, the importance the Manchester conference played in relation to the independence movement throughout Africa, the impact the Manchester attendees had in Africa, and how and why this conference has been overlooked for the role it played will also be looked at.