Black and British

A Forgotten History

4.64 based on 63 ratings & 16 reviews on

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


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

Lucid and accessible.
Herald Scotland
[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
A thrilling tale of excavation

Upcoming events

David Olusoga at Cheltenham Festival of Literature

David Olusoga at Cheltenham Festival of Literature

  • The Times Forum
    The Times Forum
  • 06 October 2017 11:30
06 October 2017 11:30Z 06 October 2017 12:30Z

History In Schools: Time For Change? Can we gain from a different way of looking back at our past? What are the repercussions of “colonial amnesia” on the curriculum, and would a more shared story ...

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David Olusoga at BBC History Weekend in Winchester

David Olusoga at BBC History Weekend in Winchester

  • The Great Hall
    The Great Hall
    Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8PJ UNITED KINGDOM
  • 07 October 2017 15:00
07 October 2017 03:00Z 07 October 2017 04:00Z

Black people have always been part of the British story. There were African soldiers on Hadrian’s Wall and black sailors at Trafalgar. There were black people in the Tudor court and for centuries A...

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