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Shutting the Door
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On the Way to Britain

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, approximately 300,000 Afro-Caribbeans migrated to Britain. They had been enticed by the British government and by private institutions to help rebuild the economy, which had been devastated during the war. They gravitated to large cities - Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and, most important, London - where they worked in skilled and semiskilled occupations. Thousands of men were hired by the London Transport Board as bus and train drivers, conductors, mechanics, and laborers; thousands of others were employed as unskilled factory workers. Many of the women worked in the health industry as nurses' aides and nurses.

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