George Padmore, Jomo Kenyatta,
Chris Jones & Wal Daniels

Black Colonials Call on
British Masses to Revolt

(1 May 1940)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol. IV No. 23, 8 June 1940, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The following manifesto was issued by the International African Service Bureau, the West African Youth League, the Colonial Seamen’s Association and the Kikuyu Central Association (East Africa) to the British workers on May Day:


Amid the tragedies of war when the Imperialist classes of the Great Powers are initiating the common peoples – white, black, brown and yellow – in hatred against one another, we send on behalf of the toiling masses of the Colonial Empire fraternal greetings of International Solidarity to the British Workers.

We Africans and peoples of African descent, the victims of Imperialist exploitation and oppression denounce the belligerents in both camps.

We have not forgotten the shameful betrayal of Abyssinia – a conquest carried out with the connivance of so-called democratic France and Britain. Neither are we deceived by the hypocritical declarations of statesmen about “defense of small nations and international law.”

We publicly proclaim that this war, like the last, is not being fought for the emancipation of Labor from the yoke of Capital, but for Imperialist aims – colonies, markets and sources of raw materials – iron ore, oil, rubber, etc.

Our profoundest sympathies go out to the victims of Nazi aggression, but what Hitler is doing today to civilized white peoples on the Continent of Europe is precisely what British and French and other Imperialists have been doing to the colonial races of Africa and Asia for centuries.

Europe is today paying the price for the injustices committed in the past to the so-called backward races of the world. It is time therefore, that white workers realize that as long as they permit their rulers to enslave others, they themselves cannot be free.

The workers of Britain will continue to be dragged into wars until such time as they, in unity with the colonial peoples, liquidate the evil system of Imperialism (democratic and fascist alike) and replace it by the Co-operative Socialist Commonwealth, from which war will be banished, and the good things of life produced for the common benefit of all – white, black, brown, yellow.

GEORGE PADMORE, General Secretary, International African Service Bureau
JOMO KENYATTA, General Secretary, Kikuyu Central Association (East Africa)
CHRIS JONES, Colonial Seamen’s Association
WAL DANIELS, West African Youth League

Last updated on 1 February 2019