Black and British: A Forgotten History (Hardback)David Olusoga (author)
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This book is an experiment. It is an attempt to see what new stories and approaches emerge if black British history is envisaged as a global history and – perhaps more controversially – as a history of more than just the black experience itself.
A vital re-examination of a shared history, published to accompany the landmark BBC Two series. In Black and British, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers readers a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa.
Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination and Shakespeare's Othello. It reveals that behind the South Sea Bubble was Britain's global slave-trading empire and that much of the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery. It shows that Black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of the First World War.
Black British history can be read in stately homes, street names, statues and memorials across Britain and is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation.
Unflinching, confronting taboos and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how black and white Britons have been intimately entwined for centuries.
'At the beginning and end, he mournfully captures that feeling of being unwelcome in Britain, and the desire for flight, to escape the brutal and bruising atmosphere… Olusoga reminds us that we had been here centuries before. And as the descendants of people who travelled to these shores on British passports stamped “right of abode”, surely now “we reach”.' – The Guardian
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 624
Weight: 1016 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 49 mm
Groundbreaking. * Observer *
[A] comprehensive and important history of black Britain . . . Written with a wonderful clarity of style and with great force and passion. It is thoroughly researched and there are many interesting anecdotes. -- Kwasi Kwarteng * The Sunday Times *
A radical reappraisal of the parameters of history, exposing lacunae in the nation's version of its past. -- Arifa Akbar * Guardian *
A thrilling tale of excavation -- Colin Grant * Guardian *
Lucid and accessible. * Herald Scotland *
An insightful, inclusive history of black people in Britain . . . Rich in detail and packed with strong personalities, this is an important contribution to our understanding of life in the UK. * History Revealed *
Olusoga's account challenges narrow visions of Britain's past. By tracing the triangulated connections between Britain, America and Africa, he presents black British history in global terms [...] His subjects, even those who barely figure in the historical record, appear as individuals who matter, both in their own right and as historical exemplars. * The London Review of Books *
Ambitious . . . Long overdue -- Hakim Adi * Spectator *
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“Important and powerful reading!!”
This book has changed my perspective on British history and what British identity means in the modern world. Olusoga narrates the history with great poise and alongside reading I watched the BBC documentaries on... More
“Well written and hugely interesting”
I’m only a chapter or so into this book but I’m ashamed to say I have learnt more about black history in Britain in those pages than I have in my whole life until now.
Immensely Interesting and so well written it... More
“A must read”
This is both a thorough piece of historical research and a very moving read. The author’s account In his preface of the racism faced by his family is deeply moving and the scale of the hidden history was a revelation.... More
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