Black and British

A Forgotten History

4.61 based on 56 ratings & 14 reviews on

Publication date: 24.08.2017
ISBN: 9781447299769
Number of pages: 624


Winner of the 2017 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize
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, 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.

In the media

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

Upcoming events

David Olusoga at Gloucester History Festival

David Olusoga at Gloucester History Festival

  • Blackfriars Priory
    Blackfriars Priory
    Gloucester, GL1 2HS UNITED KINGDOM
  • 10 September 2017 18:00
10 September 2017 06:00Z 10 September 2017 07:00Z

Kenneth Clark’s 1970s landmark TV series Civilisation changed lives. It brought new audiences to museums and art galleries and made culture and history accessible to millions. The BBC is currently ...

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