International African Service Bureau

The International African Service Bureau (IASB) was a pan-African organisation founded in London in 1937 by West Indians George Padmore, C. L. R. James, Amy Ashwood Garvey, T. Ras Makonnen and Kenyan nationalist Jomo Kenyatta and Sierra Leonean labour activist and agitator I. T. A. Wallace-Johnson. Chris Braithwaite (also known as Jones), was Secretary of this organisation.[1]

The bureau emerged from the International African Friends of Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and intended to address issues relating to Africa and the African diaspora to the British general public. Similar in design and organization to the West African Youth League,[2] the IASB also sought to inform the public about the grievances faced by those in colonial Africa and created a list of desired reforms and freedoms that would help the colonies. The bureau also hoped to encourage new African trade unions to affiliate themselves with the British labour movement.[3] To further its interest, it held weekly meetings at Hyde Park, where members discussed labor strikes in the Caribbean and Ethiopia. It also supplied speakers to branches of the Labour Party, trade unions and the League of Nations Union and provided questions to be asked in front of Parliament regarding legislation, working conditions and trade union regulations.[4]

The IASB journal, International African Opinion, was edited by C. L. R. James.[5]



  1. Spitzer & Denzer 1973, p. 446.
  2. Padmore 1957, p. 147.
  3. International African Services Bureau report for 1937, 6 March 1938.
  4. Spitzer & Denzer 1973, p. 448.
  5. Tony Martin, The Pan-African Connection: From Slavery to Garvey and Beyond, The Majority Press, 1984, p. 168.

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