SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

The Dynamics of Diaspora among Caribbean Migrants in Manchester, 1940-1981

Laurence Brown (Manchester)

Date: 24 October 2012Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 24 October 2012Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G51

Type of Event: Seminar


This paper compares the dynamics of diaspora identity amongst Caribbean immigrants in Britain across three time periods. Through focusing on Moss Side in Manchester it explores how the internal structures, networks and tensions of diasporic communities were negotiated spatially and historically. These relationships were also redefined through exchanges with the other social groups in Moss Side and by the transformation of their material environment.

The trans-national networks within Manchester’s small black population that resulted in the staging of the 1945 Pan-African Congress were succeeded by the increasing diversity of associational life and sociability with the mass arrival of Caribbean immigrants during the 1950s. A second period marked by family-formation in the 1960s and 1970s, produced a flowering of diaspora groups focused on education and the issues of the young, ranging from the Family Advice Centre to youth clubs. These networks were rapidly mobilized during the riots of the summer of 1981, as local authorities, the police and the Caribbean community sought to give the violence meaning.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 0207 898 4434