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Black and British: A Forgotten History (Paperback)
  • Black and British: A Forgotten History (Paperback)

Black and British: A Forgotten History (Paperback)

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Paperback 624 Pages / Published: 24/08/2017
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The definitive history of Britain’s troubled history with the people of Africa and the Caribbean, Olusoga’s account begins in the Roman era and takes in Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the horrors of the slave trade as well as the author’s own childhood memories of racism and prejudice. Enthrallingly written and endlessly enlightening, Black and British is absolutely essential reading.      

Winner of the 2017 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize 

Longlisted for the Orwell Prize 

Shortlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Prize

When I was a child, I imbibed enough of the background racial tensions...to feel profoundly unwelcome in Britain. My right, not just to regard myself as a British citizen, but even to be in Britain seemed contested.

In this vital re-examination of a shared history, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.

Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan 'blackamoors' and the global slave-trading empire.

It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars.

Black British history is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation. It is not a singular history, but one that belongs to us all.

Unflinching, confronting taboos and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how the lives of black and white Britons have been entwined for centuries.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781447299769
Number of pages: 624
Weight: 484 g
Dimensions: 196 x 132 x 42 mm

You could not ask for a more judicious, comprehensive and highly readable survey of a part of British history that has been so long overlooked or denied. David Olusoga, in keeping with the high standards of his earlier books, is a superb guide. -- Adam Hochschild
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 *
[Olusoga] has discovered new and exciting research materials [which] give his writing freshness, originality and compassion . . . [Black and British] will inspire and will come to be seen as a major effort to address one of the greatest silences in British historiography * New Statesman *
Lucid and accessible. * Herald Scotland *
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 *
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 *
An insightful, inclusive history of black people in Britain which is rich in detail and packed with strong, interesting characters. -- Stephanie Yeboah * GQ *
Ambitious . . . Long overdue -- Hakim Adi * Spectator *

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“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

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 20

“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

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 19

“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

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 16

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