Under Fire: Black Britain in Wartime 1939-45 (Paperback)
  • Under Fire: Black Britain in Wartime 1939-45 (Paperback)
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Under Fire: Black Britain in Wartime 1939-45 (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 256 Pages / Published: 03/08/2020
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During the Second World War all British citizens were called upon to do their part for their country. Despite facing the discriminatory 'colour bar', many black civilians were determined to contribute to the war effort where they could, volunteering as air-raid wardens, fire-fighters, stretcher-bearers and first-aiders. Meanwhile, black servicemen and women, many of them volunteers from places as far away as Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana and Nigeria, risked their lives fighting for the Mother Country in the air, at sea and on land.
In Under Fire, Stephen Bourne draws on first-hand testimonies to tell the whole story of Britain's black community during the Second World War, shedding light on a wealth of experiences from evacuees to entertainers, government officials, prisoners of war and community leaders. Among those remembered are men and women whose stories have only recently come to light, making Under Fire the definitive account of the bravery and sacrifices of black Britons in wartime.

Publisher: The History Press Ltd
ISBN: 9780750994354
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Stephen Bourne is a hero of our history. He has published countless books, always accessible to all, on the hidden stories of our presence on these shores. Let's honour Stephen for quietly shining a light on our history -- Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo
Interweaving profiles of specific characters with chapters exploring wider context, this is an absorbing introduction to the experiences of black men and women in the Second World War * BBC History Magazine *
Stephen Bourne is a tireless chronicler of the Black British history of the last century or so. I love Stephen's books because he gives voice to real people - black soldiers, sailors, musicians, campaigners, doctors, nurses, broadcasters and so many more - that are often excluded from the broader explorations of Britain during war time -- Patrice Lawrence
Restoration is a powerful act; Britain's national narrative of the war, Bourne shows, cannot exclude Black Britons ... As is characteristic of Bourne's work, the book is driven by engaging personal narratives and enlivened by his fine eye for detail -- Michael Joseph * Times Literary Supplement *
Bourne writes an uncompromising account of the racism that people of colour faced in the Britain of the late 1930s, and into the 40s, but also recognises the support they received in many quarters from the wider British society who often disliked the incidents of discrimination that occurred ... Under Fire is one of those wonderful history books that covers the grand themes and makes the key points about the barriers to equality, and the efforts to challenge racism through the stories of individual men and women ... This important book provides the stories of some of these people and is a reminder that Britain's past is one of diversity just as its present is -- Paula Kitching * The Historian *
Belies the notion that we don't have enough black British heroes to celebrate or enough resources to teach black British history in our schools ... Books such as Under Fire open the door to respecting and honouring the diversity in Britain's war effort and, for that alone, Bourne should be congratulated -- Dora Dixon-Fyle * Camberwell Quarterly *

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