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Module Reading List

Histories of Black Britain, 2021/22, Semester 1, 2
Dhanveer Singh Brar
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)  

Hakim Adi (ed),Black British History: New Perspectives, (London: Zed Books, 2019)

Kehinde Andrews and Lisa Palmer eds., Blackness in Britain (London, New York: 2016)

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Hakim Adi, 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.

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

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


Week 1 / Seminar 1: Introduction: Writing Black Histories. (Dhanveer Singh Brar)    

Core texts:     

Ron Ramdin, “Preface” + “Introduction to the Second Edition”, The Making of the Black Working Class in Britain (Verso, 2017)    

Peter Fryer, “Foreword by Gary Younge” + “Introduction by Paul Gilroy” + “Preface”, Staying Power: The history of black people in Britain (Pluto, 2018)   

Stuart Hall with Bill Schwarz, “Caribbean Migration: The Windrush Generation”,  Familiar Stranger: A Life Between Two Islands (Allen Lane, 2017)    

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


Week 3 / Seminar 2: Approaches to Black British  Culture (Dhanveer Singh Brar)   

Core Texts    

Anne Walmsley, “Preface” + “Postscript”, The Caribbean Artists Movement 1966 – 1972: A Literary and Cultural History (New Beacon Books, 1992)  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (London: Alan Wingate, 1956)

Eddie Chambers, Destruction of the National Front (1979-1980)

Kobena Mercer, “Introduction: Black Britain and the Cultural Politics of Diaspora” Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies (Routledge, 1994)   

Rebel MC, Humanity (Big Life / Tribal Bass Records, 1992)

Paul Gilroy, "Off the Page, 2014: An Audience with Paul Gilroy"


Further Reading & Resources    

George Lamming, The Pleasures of Exile (London: Michael Joseph, 1960)   

Rasheed Araeen, The Other Story: Asian, African and Caribbean Artists in Post-war Britain (London: Hayward Gallery, 1989)   

Kobena Mercer (ed), Black Film, British Cinema (ICA Documents 7, Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1988)   

Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993) 

 “Bass Culture: Paul Gilroy (parts one and two)”, Bass Culture Research: +   


Week 5 / Seminar 3: Black Lives and English Archives (John Gallagher)  


Required reading:   


Further reading:   


Week 7 / Seminar 4 - Empire and Decolonization (Elisabeth Leake)  


Required readings:  


Primary Source  

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


Secondary Sources  

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.  


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


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.  


Further Reading:  


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.  



Week 9 / Seminar 5 - South Asia Diaspora Communities and Concepts of Black Britain (Will Gould)   


Required reading:   


Please read / watch   


AND, please also choose two of the following short pieces/chapters:   


Further Reading:   


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)   


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)   





Week 14 / Seminar 6:  Crossing the Black Atlantic: Slavery, Freedom, Protest (Kimberley Thomas)  

Core Reading  


Corlett, M., ‘Between Colony and Metropole: Empire, race and power in eighteenth-century Britain’, in H. Adi (ed), Black British History: New Perspectives (Zed, 2019), 37-51   

Fryer, P., Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto, 2018)   

  • ‘Ottobah Cugoano’ and ‘Olaudah Equiano’ pp. 100-114  


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


Prince, M., The History of Mary Prince (Chapel Hill: UNC, 2017), pp. 30-40  


Primary Sources  

Cugoano, O., Thoughts and sentiments on the evil and wicked traffic of the slavery and commerce of the human species humbly submitted to the inhabitants of Great Britain by Ottabah Cugoano, a native of Africa (London, 1787)  


Equiano, O., The Interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African (London, 1789)  


Gronniosaw, J.A.U., Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince, as related by himself  (Bath, 1772)  


Prince, M., The History of Mary Prince (London, 1831)  


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


Wedderburn, R., The horrors of slavery, and other writings, by Robert Wedderburn; edited and introduced by Iain McCalman (Edinburgh UP, 1991) {request purchase of the ebook}  


Further Reading  


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


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


Byrd, A., Captives and voyagers: Black migrants across the eighteenth-century British Atlantic world (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008) {Please could the chapter on ‘Black society and the limits of British freedom’ be digitized for the OCR}   


Carretta, V., ‘Naval records and eighteenth-century black biography’, Journal for Maritime Research 5:1 (2003), 143-158 {please could this be digitized for the OCR}   


Carretta, V., ‘Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa? New light on an eighteenth-century question of identity,’ Slavery & Abolition: a journal of slave and post-slave studies 20:3 (1999), 96-105  


Carretta, V., Unchained voices: an anthology of Black authors in the English-speaking world of the eighteenth century (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1996)  

Chater, K., Untold histories: Black people in England and Wales during the period of the slave trade (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009) {please could pages 77-101 be digitised for the OCR}.  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 14/09/2021) 


Cobley, A., ‘That turbulent soil: seafarers, the “Black Atlantic,” and Afro-Caribbean identity’ in Seascapes: maritime histories, littoral cultures, and transoceanic exchanges, ed. by J. Bentley, R. Bridenthal and K. Wigen (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2007), pp. 153-168 {please could this be digitized for the OCR}   


Dabydeen, D., J. Gilmore and C. Jones (eds), The Oxford companion to Black British history (Oxford: OUP, 2007)  


Fryer, P., Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London: Pluto, 1984)   


Gerzina, G., Black England: Life before Emancipation (London: Murray, 1995) {Please could chapter 5 ‘The Black Poor’ be digitized for the OCR}  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 14/09/2021) 


Green, J., ‘The publishing history of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative’, Slavery & Abolition: a journal of slave and post-slave studies 16:3 (1995), 362-375 {as we don’t have electronic access to 1995, please could this be digitized for the OCR}  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 14/09/2021) 


Lovejoy, P., ‘Autobiography and memory: Gustavus Vassa, alias Olaudah Equiano, the African’, Slavery and Abolition: a journal of slave and post-slave studies 27:3 (2006), 317-347  


Lovejoy, P., ‘Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa: what’s in a name?’ Atlantic Studies 9:2 (2012), 165-184  


Maddison-MacFadyen, M., ‘Mary Prince, Grand Turk, and Angigua’,  Slavery and Abolition: a journal of slave and post-slave studies 34:4 (2013), 653-662  


Salih, S., ‘Introduction’ in M. Prince, The History of Mary Prince (London: Penguin, 2004), vii-xxxiv {please could this be digitized for the OCR}  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 14/09/2021) 


Walvin, J., Black and White: The Negro and English Society, 1555-1945 (London: Penguin, 1973) {please could pp. 105-143 be digitized for the OCR}.  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 14/09/2021) 


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

 Worrall, D., Radical Culture: Discourse, Resistance and Surveillance, 1790-1820 (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1992), pp. 129-45 (‘Robert Wedderburn, Man of Colour’) {please could pages 129-145 be digitized for the OCR}  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 14/09/2021) 


Week 16 / Seminar 7 : Black Tudors (Stephen Alford) 

Required reading: 

Please read 

AND, please also choose one of the following short pieces: 

  • Ungerer, Gustav, 'The Presence of Africans in Elizabethan England and the Performance of Titus Andronicus at Burley-on-the-Hill, 1595/96', Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England, 21 (2008), pp. 19-55 
  • Weissbourd, Emily, '"Those in their possession": Race, Slavery, and Queen Elizabeth's "Edicts of Expulsion", Huntington Library Quarterly, 78 (2015), pp. 1-19 

Some further reading: 

Kaufman, Miranda, 'Diego (d. 1579), sailor and insurance broker', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online (see also her Black Tudors) 

McConnell, Anita, 'Exotic visitors (act c.1500-c.1855), Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online 

Morgan, Basil, 'Hawkins, Sir John (1532-1595), merchant and naval commander', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online 


Week 18 / Seminar 8: Black Public Histories and Heritage (Claire Martin)  

Core reading:  

David Olusoga, ‘The toppling of Edward Colston’s statue is not an attack on history. It is history’, The Guardian 8 June 2020. Available:  


Stuart Hall, ‘Un-settling ‘the heritage’, re-imagining the post-nation. Whose heritage?’, Third Text 13:49 pp.3-13. DOI: 10.1080/09528829908576818  


Example of Black public history projects – please pick and explore at least two, thinking about the questions below:  


Week 22 / Seminar 10: Black History and the Culture Wars (Will Jackson)    

On-line resources  

History Workshop Online Feature ‘Moving People’:    


History Workshop Online, ‘Displaying Black British History: The Krios of Sierra Leone:  


The National Trust, ‘Addressing our Histories of Colonialism and Historic Slavery’   

Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report (the Sewell report)   


Yohann Koshy, ‘The Last Humanist: How Paul Gilroy Became the Most Vital Guide to our Age of Crisis’, The Guardian, 5 August 2021   

  Books and essays  

Emma Dabiri, What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition (Penguin, 2021)  

Reni Eddo Lodge, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race (Bloomsbury, 2017)  

Corinne Fowler, Green Unpleasant Land (Peepal Tree Press, 2020)  

Gargi Bhattacharyya et al,  Empire’s Endgame: Racism and the British State (Pluto, 2020)  

Colin Grant, Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation (Penguin, 2019)  

Dan Hicks, The Brutish Museum: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (Pluto Press, 2020)  

Priya Gopal, ‘On Decolonisation and the University’, Textual Practice, 35, 6, 2021  

See also the conversation with Gopal in the Los Angeles Review of Books:   

Afua Hirsch, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging (London, Vintage, 2018)  

Dane Kennedy, The Imperial History Wars (Bloomsbury, 2018)  

Yasmin Khan, ‘Refugees, Migrants, Windrush and Brexit’, in Stuart Ward and Astrid Rasch, Embers of Empire in Brexit Britain (Bloomsbury, 2019)  

Peter Mitchell, Imperial Nostalgia: How the British Conquered Themselves (Manchester, 2021), Chapter 3  

Douglas Murray, The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity (Bloomsbury, 2020)  

Olivette Otele, ‘The Guerrilla Arts in Brexit Britain’ in Stuart Ward and Astrid Rasch, eds., Embers of Empire in Brexit Britain (Bloomsbury, 2019)  

Alice Proctor, The Whole Picture: The colonial story of the art in our museums & why we need to talk about it (Cassell, 2021)  

Satnam Sanghera, Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain (Viking, 2021)  

Michael Taylor, The Interest: How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery (Bodley Head 2020)  


This list was last updated on 04/10/2021