An oral history project about the life and work of Nana Bonsu

Beresford 'Berry' Edwards, aka “Chief Nana Bonsu”, was a founding father of Manchester’s African Caribbean community whose pioneering work has left a lasting legacy.

Nana Bonsu leading a march

A public demonstration organized by the Pan African Congress Movement.

West Indian Community Centre, Carmoor Road

Nana was a leading figure and founder of the community centre in Longsight, which became a vital source of community support and activity.

Nana with his wife, Elouise Edwards

Nana and Elouise were both completely committed to community support and generating a strong voice to advance rights for people of African descent.

Community and cultural activities

Nana set up the UK's first black supplementary school. Children were dear to him. He is seen here giving children reassurance at African Liberation Day.
Video + Media

Video + Media

Watch a key documentary of perspectives on the life of Nana Bonsu giving an insight into his significant work and critical connections. There are also 21 full video interviews and a range of photographs from over the years archived on this website.


Amongst his work as an activist, he was a strong participant in and supporter of the Pan African movement. He also was central to a landmark struggle in a high court legal case which changed the way unions could operate 'closed shop' practices.


Nana Bonsu has supported communities of African descent in Manchester, the UK, and internationally at all levels. Staying close to the grass roots he tirelessly practiced a bottom-up philosophy towards community resilience and justice.


An educational magazine to commemorate this project was produced to coincide with the launch of the Nana Bonsu oral history project exhibition. You can download a copy of this magazine from this website under the Media Archive menu.

Nana Bonsu, also known as Beresford 'Berry' Edwards, was of huge importance to Britain’s African community, especially in Manchester which became his home. This oral history project highlights his role in initiatives such as the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination, trade unions, social justice and equal opportunities. Nana's work, committment and contribution is now nationally recognised by his inclusion in the list of 100 Great Black Britons.

Old Trafford-based First Cut Media and Performing Arts Group gained an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund to produce an oral history celebrating the life and work of this founding father of Manchester’s African Caribbean community. The project enabled 50 young people and volunteers to discover, explore and learn about their history and culture in the UK, specifically from the 1960’s – 2000’s.

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A project by FIRST CUT performing arts and media

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