Although black people had a long presence in Britain, it was in the late 1950s and early 1960s that African-Caribbeans from the West Indies composed the first substantial Commonwealth immigration to Leicester, with Highfields as a principal location of their new settlement.


  • misleading images of the 'mother country' (the 'metropole');
  • parents arrived first, children following later; children were nurtured by kin in the West Indies until the migrant parents became established;
  • adjusting to jobs below qualifications;
  • adjusting to different life-style;

Len Garrison (1943-2003)
MA (Leicester)
Black cultural historian

Professor Stuart Hall
Celebrated sociologist

'I think during the early days, Highfield Rangers was a very important part of the black community. The only real thing that the Afro-Caribbean community had were the football teams. There wasn't even a cricket team at the time. I remember playing in the Caribbean Times Cup. We played that game on a Sunday afternoon on Vicky Park during the summer against some team from London.I've never seen so many people in my life before, basically the whole of the Afro-Caribbean community of Leicester was out. As far as the Afro-Caribbean community was concerned, football was the only thing and having Highfield Rangers as a football team led on to other things. Not only did we play football, but there were dances, presentations, social gatherings. So, I think at that time Highfield Rangers was a very important part of the Afro-Caribbean community. I think it still is, though other people may suggest it is not.'
Highfield Rangers. An Oral History (A Living History Unit Publication, Leicester, 1993), p. 104.

African-Caribbean and Asian history project

Leicester Black History season

Black Presence in Britain