Released on 24 August 2017.

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Black and British

A Forgotten History

4.55 based on 156 ratings & 35 reviews on

2017 Winner

PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize

2017 Long-listed

The Orwell Prize

2017 Short-listed

Jahalak Prize


Winner of the 2017 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize
Winner of the Longman History Today Trustees' Award
A History Book of the Year
Longlisted for the Orwell Prize
Shortlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Prize

In this vital re-examination of a shared history, 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.

In the media

A thrilling tale of excavation
[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.
The Sunday Times
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
David Olusoga at The Bath Festival

David Olusoga at The Bath Festival

  • Assembly Rooms
    Assembly Rooms
    Bennett Street BATH, BA1 2QH. UNITED KINGDOM
  • 21 May 2018 19:00
21 May 2018 07:00Z 21 May 2018 08:00Z

Historian David Olusoga’s award-winning book Black and British: A Forgotten History shone a light on this country’s hidden history from Roman Britain to the present day. Now, alongside Simon Schama...

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