Black and British
PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize
Winner of the 2017 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize
A Waterstones.com History Book of the Year
Longlisted for the Orwell Prize
Shortlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Prize
In Black and British, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers readers a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination and Shakespeare's Othello.
It reveals that behind the South Sea Bubble was Britain's global slave-trading empire and that much of the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery. It shows that Black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of the First World War. Black British history can be read in stately homes, street names, statues and memorials across Britain and is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation.
Unflinching, confronting taboos and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how black and white Britons have been intimately entwined for centuries. Black and British is a vital re-examination of a shared history, published to accompany the landmark BBC Two series.
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.
[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