London

Anti-colonial campaigner commemorated with plaque

One of the most influential black political thinkers of the 20th Century has been commemorated with a heritage plaque in north London.

The capital's latest blue plaque was unveiled at 22 Cranleigh Street, Camden, where George Padmore lived from 1941 to 1957.

It became a centre for anti-colonial activists from around the world.

In 1945 Padmore was the main organiser of the Fifth Pan African Congress to campaign for independence for colonies.

The plaque was organised by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, in collaboration with the High Commissions of Trinidad and Tobago and Ghana, and Camden Council.

'True African patriot'

Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, the High Commissioner of Ghana, who attended the unveiling, said: "Ghana is privileged and honoured to be contributing to the commemoration of a true African patriot, a selfless and pioneer Pan-Africanist."

Born Malcolm Ivan Meredith Nurse in Arouca, Trinidad, on 28 June 1903, Padmore worked as a journalist until 1924 then left for university in the USA.

But he did not complete his degree, as the Communist Party, which he had joined in 1927, sent him to serve on the Moscow Council.

With the lead up to World War II Padmore resigned from the Communist Party and moved to Britain.

He continued his work as an anti-imperialist and pro-equality journalist writing for African, African-American and Caribbean newspapers, and publishing books and newspapers in the UK.

Padmore moved to Ghana after it became the first West African colony to gain independence in 1957, to take up the position of Advisor on African Affairs.

He died in London on 23 September, 1959, after a short illness.

The plaque was unveiled 98 years to the day that Padmore was born.

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