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Module Reading List

Histories of Black Britain, 2019/20, Semester 1, 2
Dr Kate Dossett
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

General Texts and Edited Collections

David Dabydeen, John Gilmore and Cecily Jones (eds), The Oxford Companion to Black British History (OUP, 2007)  

Bryan, Beverley, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe, The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain (London: Virago, 1985)  

Panayi, Panikos, An Immigration History of Britain: Multicultural Racism since 1800 (London: Routledge, 2014)  

David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History (London, 2016).

Useful Websites:

Black Studies:

Lisa Amander Palmer, “The Absence of Black Studies in Britain,” in Kehinde Andrews and Lisa Palmer eds., Blackness in Britain (London, New York: 2016), pp9-23. (e-book)

Mark Christian, “African centered knowledge: A British perspective,” Western Journal of Black Studies, 25(1), (2001):  pp12-20

Stuart Hall. (1992).What is this 'Black' in Black popular culture?” in Gina Dent (Ed.), Black Popular Culture (pp. 21-33). 

The Shape of Historiography:

A. Sivanandan, ‘From Resistance to Rebellion’, A Different Hunger: Writings on Black Resistance (London, 1982), 3-54.  

Rozina Visram, ‘Preface’, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London, 2002), xi-x.

Paul Gilroy, ‘Introduction’, “There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack”: The Cultural History of Race and Nation (Chicago, 1987), 11-14.

David Olusoga, ‘Preface’, Black and British: A Forgotten History (London, 2016), xv-xxii.

Peter Fryer, ‘Preface’, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London, 2010), xiii-xv.

Miranda Kaufman, ‘Introduction’, Black Tudors: The Untold Story (London, 2017), 1-6.

Hakim Adi, ‘Introduction’, West Africans in Britain, 1900-1960: Nationalism, Pan-Africanism and Communism (London, 1998), 2-5.

Anne Rush, “Reshaping British History: The Historiography of West Indians in Britain in the Twentieth Century”, History Compass. , vol. 5 (2007), 463-484.

Stuart Hall, "Black Diaspora Artists in Britain: Three 'Moments' in Post-War History", History workshop journal. , vol. 61 (2006), 1-24.

Rob Waters, "Thinking Black: Peter Fryer's Staying Power and the Politics of Writing Black British History in the 1980s", History workshop journal. , vol. 82 (2016), 104-120.

Kennetta Hammond Perry, “Black Britain and the Politics of Race in the 20th Century”, History Compass. , vol. 12 (2014), 651-663.

Paul Gilroy, “Nationalism, History and Ethnic Absolutism”, History Workshop. , vol. 30 (1990), 114-120.

Black Lives and English Archives

Imtiaz Habib, Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500-1677: Imprints of the Invisible (2008), pp. 1-18 and chapter 2, pp. 63-120. 


Please also choose and read two primary source extracts from Ania Loomba and Jonathan Burton (eds.), Race in Early Modern England: A Documentary Companion (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)


"Introduction," Ania Loomba and Jonathan Burton (eds.), Race in Early Modern England: A Documentary Companion (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).  

Kim Hall, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England (Cornell University Press, 1995).

Miranda Kaufmann, Black Tudors (London: Oneworld, 2017).

Kimberley Poitevin, 'Inventing Whiteness: Cosmetics, Race and Women in Early Modern England', Journal For Early Modern Studies 11:1 (2011), pp. 59-89.

From Slavery to Freedom:


“Introduction”, Salih, S, (ed.) The History of Mary Prince (London: Penguin Classics, 2000), vii-

 AND, please also choose two or three of the following:

 Morgan, J. L.,  “Partus sequitur ventrem: Law, Race, and Reproduction in Colonial SlaverySmall Axe, Volume 22, Number 1, March 2018 (No. 55), pp. 1-17

 Blackburn, R., The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800 (London: Verso, 2010), pp. 31-94. (eBook)

 Blackburn, R,. The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848. (London: Verso, 1988), pp. 131-160. [eBook]

 Chater, K., Untold histories: Black people in England and Wales during the period of the slave trade (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999), pp.21-34 and 77-101. 

 Fryer, P., Staying power: The history of black people in Britain (London: Pluto, 1984), pp. 89-132.

 Further Reading

 Equiano, O., The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African. Written by Himself (1789) (eBook)

 Sancho, I., Letters of the late Ignatius Sancho, an African to which are prefixed memoirs of his life. (1783) (eBook)

 Gerzina, G., Black England: Life before Emancipation (London: Murray, 1995)

 Shyllon, F., Black people in Britain, 1555-1833 (London: Oxford University Press, 1977)

 Walvin, J., Black and White: The Negro and English Society, 1555-1945 (London: Penguin, 1973) especially pp. 105-143.

 Walvin, J., An African’s life, 1745-1797: The life and times of Olaudah Equiano (London: Continuum, 2000). 

 Wedderburn, R., The horrors of slavery, and other writingsby Robert Wedderburn; edited and introduced by Iain McCalman (Edinburgh UP, 1991)

Worrall, D., Radical Culture: Discourse, Resistance and Surveillance, 1790-1820 (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1992), pp. 129-45 (‘Robert Wedderburn, Man of Colour’) 


Empire and Decolonization


George Padmore (ed.), History of the Pan-African Congress (1947), ‘The Congress in Perspective’ and ‘The Colour Problem in Britain’ 

 Ann Laura Stoler and Frederick Cooper, ‘Between Metropole and Colony: Rethinking a Research Agenda’, in Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World (University of California Press, 1997), 1-57.

 Hakim Adi, ‘Pan-Africanism and West African Nationalism in Britain’, African Studies Review 31, no. 1 (2000): 69-82.

 Jordanna Bailkin, ‘The Postcolonial Family? West African Children, Private Fostering, and the British State’, The Journal of Modern History 81, no. 1 (2009): 87-121.

 Daniel Gorman, ‘Wider and Wider Still? Racial Politics, Intra-Imperial Immigration and the Absence of an Imperial Citizenship in the British Empire’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 3, no. 3 (2002): 1-24.

 Leslie James and Daniel Whittall, ‘“Ambiguity and Imprint”, British Racial Logics, Colonial Commissions of Enquiry, and the Creolization of Britain in the 1930s and 1940s’, Callaloo 39, no. 1 (2016): 166-84.

 David Killingray, ‘“A Good West Indian, a Good African, and, in Short, a Good Britisher”: Black and British in a Colour-Conscious Empire, 1769-1950’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 36, no. 3 (2008): 3363-81.

 Daniel Mark Stephen, ‘“The White Man’s Grave”: British West Africa and the British Empire Exhibition of 1925-1925’, Journal of British Studies 48, no. 1 (2009): 102-28.

 Jordanna Bailkin, The Afterlife of Empire (Berkeley, 2012).

 Jordanna Bailkin, ‘Where did Empire Go? Archives and Decolonization in Britain’, The American Historical Review 120, no. 3 (2015): 884-99.

 Elizabeth Buettner, Europe after Empire: Decolonization, Society, and Culture (Cambridge, 2016)

 Caroline Elkins, ‘Looking beyond Mau Mau: Archiving Violence in the Era of Decolonization’, The American Historical Review 120, no. 3 (2015): 852-68.

 R.A. Huttenback, ‘The British Empire as a “White Man’s Country” – Racial Attitudes and Immigration Legislation in the Colonies of White Settlement’, Journal of British Studies 13, no. 1 (1973): 108-37.

 Leslie James, George Padmore and Decolonization from Below: Pan-Africanism, the Cold War, and the End of Empire (London, 2014)

 Paul Kramer, ‘Empires, Exceptions, and Anglo-Saxons: Race and Rule between the British and United States Empires, 1880-1910’, Journal of American History 88, no. 4 (2002): 1315-1353.

 Philippa Levine, Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire (London, 2003)

 Paul Rich, Race and Empire in British Politics (Cambridge, 1986)

 Bill Schwarz, ‘“Claudia Jones and the West Indian Gazette”: Reflections on the Emergence of Post-colonial Britain’, Twentieth Century British History 14, no. 2 (2002): 264-85.

 Ann L. Stoler, ‘Making Empire Respectable: The Politics of Race and Sexual Morality in 20th-Century Colonial Culture’, American Ethnologist 16, no. 4 (1989): 634-60.


Slave Resistance in the British Caribbean 1760-1931 (Manuel Barcia)


Brown, Vincent. Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2020).  

 Beckles, Hilary McD. “The Slave-Drivers War: Bussa and the 1816 Barbados Slave Rebellion.” Boletin de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe 39 (1985): 85-110 OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (CHG 22/10/2019) 

Craton, Michael. “Proto-Peasant revolts? The late Slave rebellions in the British West Indies, 1816–1832.” Past and Present 85 (1979): 99–125

Craton, Michael. “The Passion to exist: Slave rebellions in the British West Indies, 1629–1832.” Journal of Caribbean History 13 (1980): 1–20 OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (CHG 22/10/2019) 

Geggus, David. “Slave Rebellion during the Age of Revolution.” in Wim Klooster and Gert Oostindie, eds. Curaçao in the Age of Revolutions, 1795-1800 (Leiden: Brill, 2001), 23-56.

Heuman, Gad. "1865: Prologue to the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica." NWIG 65: 3/4 (1991): 107-127

Schuler, Monica. “Akan Slave rebellions in the British Caribbean.” Savacou 1:1 (1970): 8–31. OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (CHG 22/10/2019) 

 Barcia, Manuel. West African Warfare in Bahia and Cuba: Soldier Slaves in the Atlantic World (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

 Dubois, Laurent. Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2004).

 Ferrer, Ada. Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

 Reis, João José. Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia (Baltimore & London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).

Thornton, John K. Warfare in Atlantic Africa, 1500-1800 (London: UCL Press, 1999)

 Viotti da Costa, Emilia. Crowns of Glory, Tears of Blood: The Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994).


 War and Citizenship

 Stephen Bourne, Mother Country: Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front, 1939-45 (2010), Introduction.

 Richard Smith, Jamaican Volunteers in the First World War (2004), Introduction.

 Stephen Bourne, Black Poppies: Britain’s Black Community and the Great War (2014)

 Stephen Bourne, The Motherland Calls: Britain’s Black Servicemen and women, 1939-1945 (2012)

 Susan Grayzel, Belonging to the Imperial Nation: Rethinking the History of the First World War in Britain and Its Empire, The Journal of Modern History 90(2)

 Susan Grayzel, Protecting which spaces and bodies? Civil defence, the British Empire and the Second World War in Ashley Jackson, Yasmin Khan and Gajendra Singh, An Imperial World at War: Aspects of the British Empire’s War Experience, 1939-1945 (2016), pp.66-85. 

 Roger Lambo, ‘Achtung! The Black Prince: West Africans in the Royal Air Force, 1939-46’ in David Killingray, Africans in Britain (1994), pp.145-163.

 Ashley Jackson, The British Empire and the Second World War (2006)

 Jaqueline Jenkinson, 'All in the Same Uniform'? The Participation of Black Colonial Residents in the British Armed Forces in the First World War in Ashley Jackson, The British Empire in the First World War (2016), pp.379-402. 

 Philippa Levine, ‘Battle colors: Race, sex, and colonial soldiery in World War I’, Journal of Women’s History 9(4), 1998: 104-130.

 Anna Maguire, 'I felt like a man': West Indian troops under fire during the First World War, Slavery & Abolition 39(3), 2018: 602-621.

 Karen Sands O’Connor, ‘A Medal for Walter: Representations of Black Britons and World War I’, The Lion and the Unicorn, 41(2), 2017: 231-249

 South Asian Diaspora Communities and concepts of Black Britain.  

‘Introduction : BrAsians : postcolonial people, ironic citizens’, by S. Sayyid in Salman Sayyid, Nasreen Ali, Varinder Kalra, A Postcolonial People: South Asians in Britain (London: Hurst & Co., 2006) 

Roger Ballard, (ed.), Desh Pardesh: the South Asian presence in Britain (London: Hurst, 1994) Introduction 

Rozina Visram, ‘Preface’, Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (London, 2002), xi-x.

Avtar Brah, Cartographies of Diaspora: Contesting Identities (London: Hurst, 1996) – Introduction

Claire Alexander, ‘The Problem of South Asian Popular Culture: The View from the UK’, South Asian Popular Culture, Vol. 6, Issue 1 (2006). Pp. 1-12

Rajinder K Dudrah, ‘Drum’n’dhol 1: British Bhangra music and diasporic South Asian identity formation’, European Journal of Cultural Studies (2002)

Chapter by Gould and Qureishi in Sean McLoughlin, William Gould, Ananya Kabir and Emma Tomalin, (eds), Writing the City in British Asian Diasporas (London: Routledge, 2014) – Chapter by McLoughlin

 Ashraf Hoque, ‘Muslim Men in Luton, UK: ‘Eat First, Talk Later’’, South Asia Research 35:1 (2015), pp.81-102

 Abbas, Tahir (ed.), Muslim Britain: Communities Under Pressure (2005)

 Humayun Ansari, The Infidel Within: Muslims in Britain Since 1800 (London: Hurst & Co., 2004)  

 John Eade, The Politics of Community: The Bangladeshi Community in East London (Aldershot, Avebury, 1996)

 Virinder S Kalra, Pakistani Diasporas: Culture, Conflict and Change (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2009)

 Philip Lewis, Islamic Britain: Religion, Politics and Identity Among British Muslims (London: I B Taurus, 2002)

 Judith Brown, Global South Asians: Introducing the Modern Diaspora (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012)

 Colin Clarke, Ceri Peach and Steven Vertovec (eds.), South Asians overseas: migration and ethnicity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990) 

 Yasmin Hussain, Writing Diaspora: South Asian Women, Culture and Ethnicity (London: Routledge, 2005)

 Shompa Lahiri, (ed.), Indians in Britain: Anglo-Indian encounters, race, and identity, 1880-1930 (London, 2000)

 Sean McLoughlin, William Gould, Ananya Kabir and Emma Tomalin, (eds), Writing the City in British Asian Diasporas (London: Routledge, 2014) – Chapter by McLoughlin

 Bhikhu Parekh, Gurharpal Singh and Steven Vertovec (eds.), Culture and economy in the Indian diaspora (2003)

 Nirmal Puwar, and Pirvati Raghuram, (eds.), South Asian women in the diaspora (Oxford, 2003)

 S Sharma, J Hutnyk and A Sharma, Dis-orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music (London: Hurst, 1996)


Race and Racism in Twentieth Century Britain

Bill Schwarz, ‘Reveries of Race’ in Memories of Empire: The White Man’s World (2011)

On Racial Violence:

Peter Fryer, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (1984), pp. 298-320 + 376-386

 Jaqueline Jenkinson, Black 1919: Riots, Racism and Resistance in Imperial Britain (2009), chapter two

 David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History (2016), pp. 450-466

 Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips, Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain (1998), chapters 12 and 13.

 Kevin Searle, ‘The Causeway Green ‘riots’ of 1949’ in Hakim Adi, ed., Black British History: New Perspectives from Roman Times to the Present Day (2019)

 On Race and Sex:

 Lucy Bland, ‘White Women and Men of Colour: Miscegenation Fears in Britain after the Great War’, Gender and History, 17, 1 (2005)

 Elizabeth Buettner, ‘Would you let your daughter marry a Negro?’: Race and Sex in 1950s Britain’ in Philippa Levine and Susan R. Grayzel (eds.), Gender, Labour, War and Empire: Essays on Modern Britain (2008)

 Anna Maguire, ‘You wouldn’t want your daughter marrying one’: parental intervention into mixed-race relationships in post-war Britain’, Historical Research, 82, 256 (2019)

 Carina Ray, ‘“The White Wife Problem”: Sex, Race and the Contested Politics of Repatriation to Interwar British West Africa’, Gender and History, 21, 3 (2009), 628-646

 Laura Tabili, ‘“Women of a Very Low Type”: Crossing Racial Boundaries in Late Imperial Britain," in Laura Frader and Sonya Rose, eds., Gender and Class in Modern Europe (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1996), 165-190

 Laura Tabili, ‘Empire is the Enemy of Love: Edith Noor’s Progress and Other Stories, Gender and History, 17, 1 (2005)

 On Enoch Powell and the Rivers of Blood:

Paul Corthorn, Enoch Powell: Politics and Ideas in Modern Britain (Oxford, 2019), chapter three

Camilla Schofield, Enoch Powell and the Making of Postcolonial Britain (2013), chapter four

Camilla Schofield, ‘Brexit and the Other Special Relationship’ in Stuart Ward and Astrid Rasch, Embers of Empire in Brexit Britain (2019)

Amy Whipple, Revisiting the ‘Rivers of Blood’ Controversy: Letters to Enoch Powell, Journal of British Studies, 48, 3, 2019

John Solomos, “Strangers in their own land”: Powellism’s Policy Impact, Patterns of Prejudice, 53, 2, 2019.






This list was last updated on 29/09/2019