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Black and British: A short, essential history

Written by David Olusoga

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Black and British: A short, essential history Review

Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers History Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

Un-put-down-able, enlightening and critically-needed Black British history for younger readers

Narrated by Ben Onwukwe

Adapted for younger readers from his seminal adult edition of the same book, David Olusoga’s Black and British presents an engaging, illuminating and critically needed account of Black British history. Indeed, this succinct, impactful edition also serves as an excellent primer for adults.


The introduction frames the book in the context of contemporary Britain - “Britain’s population is changing. More of us than ever are members of families that include people of different skin colours and ethnicities. Black history helps explain how national history is intertwined with our family histories. It helps us make sense of the country we are today.”

And of course, contrary to popular perception, Black history has long been entwined with British history - it is British history.


As the book reveals through lively, clear text - supplemented by fascinating maps and visuals - there’s evidence that Africans were part of the Roman army stationed in Britain as far back as 253AD. And contrary to the typical representation of Tudor England as being a white entity, several hundred Black Tudors have been found in historical records. Then, as European trade with Africa exploded - spearheaded by the Portuguese and Spanish who’d begun to buy and transport slaves from Africa - Britain wanted in on the lucrative action, and soon started shipping slaves to their Caribbean colonies. Come the early Georgian era (1714-1776) an increasing number of enslaved Africans were brought to Britain to serve wealthy families, as evidenced by the portraits and newspaper pieces reproduced in this book. 


Also covering the late Georgian era, the Victorian period, the two World Wars, through to the continuing Windrush Scandal, Olusoga has done an incredible job of correcting misconceptions and presenting the truth of Black British history in engaging, lucid style.

Joanne Owen

Black and British: A short, essential history Synopsis

When did Africans first come to Britain? Who are the well-dressed black children in Georgian paintings? Why did the American Civil War disrupt the Industrial Revolution? These and many other questions are answered in this essential introduction to 1800 years of the Black British history: from the Roman Africans who guarded Hadrian's Wall right up to the present day.

This children's version of the bestseller Black and British: A Forgotten History is illustrated with maps, photos and portraits.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781529066968
Publication date: 02/10/2021
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Audiobook

ISBN: 9781529063394
Publication date: 01/10/2020
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781529066968
Publication date: 2nd October 2021
Author: David Olusoga
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Audiobook
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: History, Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: Audiobooks of the Month

About David Olusoga

David Olusoga is a British-Nigerian historian, broadcaster and BAFTA award-winning presenter and filmmaker. He is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester and a regular contributor to the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman and BBC History Magazine. His previous books include Black and British, which won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize and the Longman-History Today Trustees Award, The Kaiser's Holocaust and The World's War. He was also a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Black British History. In 2019 he was awarded an OBE for services to history and community integration.   The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded in 2019 ...

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