A pivotal investigation into the role Black Britons have played in the island’s history over the past thousand years, that brings many unjustly neglected figures vividly to life.
Patrick Vernon's landmark 100 Great Black Britons campaign of 2003 was one of the most successful movements to focus on the role of people of African and Caribbean descent in British history. Frustrated by the widespread and continuing exclusion of the black British community from the mainstream popular conception of 'Britishness', despite black people having lived in Britain for over a thousand years, Vernon set up a public poll in which anyone could vote for the black Briton they most admired.
The response to this campaign was incredible. As a result, a number of black historical figures were included on the national school curriculum and had statues and memorials erected and blue plaques put up in their honour. Mary Seacole was adopted by the Royal College of Nursing and was given the same status as Florence Nightingale. Children and young people were finally being encouraged to feel pride in their history and a sense of belonging in Britain.
Now, with this book, Vernon and Osborne have relaunched the campaign with an updated list of names and accompanying portraits - including new role models and previously little-known historical figures. Each entry explores in depth the individual's contribution to British history - a contribution that too often has been either overlooked or dismissed.
In the wake of the 2018 Windrush scandal, and against the backdrop of Brexit, the rise of right-wing populism and the continuing inequality faced by black communities across the UK, the need for this campaign is greater than ever.
Now with a foreword by David Olusoga.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 464
Weight: 760 g
Dimensions: 236 x 158 x 44 mm
'Self-funded and run by a team of merely three people, Patrick Vernon's list was a bold statement, reminding the public that the Black people of Britain are not new, nor did we simply appear post slavery ... Regardless of who occupies the list, its impact has created ripples which are still felt today, both in wider society and in Patrick's personal life.' - Black History 365
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