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Len Johnson was born in Manchester in 1902. His father was William Benker Johnson, an African seaman, and his mother was a young woman from Manchester, Margaret Maher. Len fought in fairground boxing booths and also professionally as a middle-weight 1922 -1933, and beat some of the best British and foreign fighters of the day, including Roland Todd, Len Harvery, Gipsy Daniels and Leone Jaccovacci. However Len was not allowed to fight for official British titles because the British Board of Boxing Control decreed that only white boxers could compete for titles. After he left the ring he toured his own boxing up and down the country.
During the war Len worked in civil defence and joined the Communist Party of Great Britain. He become an active member, standing 6 times in the Moss Side ward but attracting only a small vote. He attended the Pan African Congress in Manchester in October 1945 and after the war set up the New International Society in Moss Side which was both a social club and political campaigning organisation. He retired from active politics after 1962 and died in Oldham in 1974
Join Michael Herbert for this fascinating talk.
Sat 3 Mar 2012 10.30am - 11.30am
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6 Mount Street,
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Free but booking recommended
Black history, Sport
Celebration Day Talks, Talks
Fri 24 Feb 2012 to Sat 3 Mar 2012 1.30pm daily
at Imperial War Museum North
Sun 4 Mar 2012 6pm - 8pm
at Briton's Protection
Wed 29 Feb 2012 1pm - 2pm
at City Library, Manchester
Wed 29 Feb 2012 11am - 12.30pm
Sat 25 Feb 2012 7.30pm - 10.30pm
at Whitworth Art Gallery
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Celebration Day 2012 / 2009
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All ages, Schools, Family, Under 5s, 10+, 18+
Archaeology, Architecture, Family history, Sport, Wartime, More...
Discussions, Exhibitions, Learning, Performance, Talks, Walking tours, More…
Sat 25 Feb 2012 2.30pm - 3.30pm
Fri 2 Mar 2012 1pm - 2.30pm
Sat 3 Mar 2012 3pm - 4.40pm
A new prize recognising and celebrating partnerships between school/community groups and university academic departments that explore a history theme.
Find out more about the shortlist.