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Text Box: George Padmore
1902-1959
Text Box:  George Padmore (1902-1959), born Malcolm Nurse was a Trinidadian communist and later a leading Pan-Africanist with anti-communist sympathies. Through his work with communism and decolonisation Padmore was one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century.
He was born in Arouca, Trinidad. In 1924 he travelled to the Fisk University in Tennessee where he studied medicine. He later transferred to Howard University, New York University and later to Harvard Law School. It was during this time that he became active in the Communist Party USA and changed his name to George Padmore.
Padmore was an important black student leader, and this led to his involvement in Comintern, the international communist movement. In late 1929 he left the United States and moved to the USSR where he headed the Negro Bureau of the Communist International of Labour Unions and was Secretary of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro Workers. He also edited the journal Negro Worker.
In 1934 Padmore resigned his positions and moved to London. In London he collaborated with C.L.R. James and other Caribbean and African intellectuals. In response to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia James and Padmore organised the International African Services Bureau. In his capacity as leader of the IASB Padmore helped organise the 1945 Manchester Conference which was attended by Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, W.E.B. DuBois, Jaja Wachuku. This conference helped set the agenda for decolonisation in the post-war period.
When Ghana became independent in 1957 Padmore moved there and served as an advisor to Nkrumah. Padmore died in London in September of 1959, where he had gone to receive medical treatment.[edit]
Works
Africa and World Peace (1937)
Africa: Britain's Third Empire(1948)
The Gold Coast Revolution (1953)
Pan-Africanism or Communism? The Coming Struggle for Africa (1956)
[edit]
External links
The George Padmore Institute
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CELEBRATING THE CENTENARY 0F GEORGE PADMORE - African Revolutionary
A Tribute by Lester Lewis, Pan Africanist
Born in Trinidad in 1902,George Padmore was effectively the leader of the African Revolution from the time the Third Communist International -The Commintern made him leader of their Negro Section, up to the time he died in 1959.
This writer takes the view that George Padmore almost changed the world single-handedly in the last century. He stands out among the African men born in the Caribbean who changed the world for the better in that century.
He had a single purpose in life. That was to free Africa from colonial domination. He indicated this early in his life. After his marriage in 1924, he had to leave his pregnant wife in Trinidad to enrol at Fisk University (USA). He left instructions that whether the child was a boy or girl, the child must be named Blyden after Edward Wilmot Blyden. For Padmore, Edward Wilmot Blyden was the Caribbean African non-pariel (he had no living equal).
Having been given power and authority by the Commintern, with offices in Moscow, Vienna and Hamburg, he broke decisively with Moscow and the Commintern when they no longer served his purpose in life. The rise of fascism in Germany in the 1930s led to the Soviet Communist Party changing their anti-colonialist line.
They claimed that there was a distinction between Democratic Imperialists -Britain, France and the USA and fascist imperialists - Germany, Italy and Japan. Padmore's response was that Germany and Japan did not have colonies in Africa and the United States was the most race prejudiced country in the world.
Moving to London in 1935, he linked up with his boyhood friend C. L. R. James. Here, he formed the International African Service Bureau. He wrote, spoke demonstrated and protested against colonialism in Africa while eking out a living as a Journalist. He wrote numerous books and pamphlets. The book for which he is remembered most being “PAN AFRICANISM OR COMMUNISM.”
It was C. L. R. James who, by this time living in the USA, gave Kwame Nkrumah a letter of introduction to Padmore. Of Padmore, Nkrumah says:
"When I first met George...we thought along the same lines and talked the same language. There existed between us that rare affinity for which one searches for so long but seldom finds in another human being. We became friends at the moment of our meeting and friendship developed into that desirable relationship that exists between brothers."
When the United Gold Coast Convention invited Kwame Nkrumah to return to Ghana to lead the CGCC, it was Padmore who persuaded him to accept the challenge. Having listened to C. L. R. James' lecture "Nkrumah, Padmore and the Ghanaian Revolution" given at The Institute of the Black World in Atlanta (USA) in 1971, this writer is convinced that the plans Nkrumah implemented on his return to Ghana were worked out with Padmore prior to his return.
When Ghana became independent, Padmore became Nkrumah's Adviser on African Affairs. Padmore organised the first meeting of Independent Africa's Heads of States, then he organised the first All African Peoples Congress, and then he died in 1959.
He was cremated in London. His ashes were returned to Ghana at Nkrumah's request and interred at Christianborg Castle. Then, Nkrumah said, "One day the whole of Africa will surely be free and united and when the tale is told, the significace of George Padmore's contribution will be revealed." One contemporary British described Padmore as "The silent hero of the Ghanaian Revolution."
Despite the CIA coup that overthrew Nkrumah, Ghanaians never forgot Nkrumah. At the very first opportunity, they established the george Padmore African Research Library In Accra.
It was Padmore's influence that led Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe to set up the Pan African Congress (PAC).  
I do not see the professors of Pan African Studies rushing to organise conferences on George Padmore. I wonder if this is because a study of Padmore's life will show what useless characters they are.
Lester Lewis
Suggested Reading: 
BLACK REVOLUTIONARY - George
Padmore's path from Communism to Pan Africanism








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