Black History Books and News at 24 September


 Land of My Fathers

Novel by Vamba Sherif. University of Chicago Press. 1998. Paperback edition November 2016.

The Republic of Liberia was founded in the 19thC nineteenth century with the return of freed slaves from America to Africa. Once back “home,” however, these Americo-Liberians had to integrate into the resident tribes—who did not necessarily want or welcome them. Against a background of French and British colonialists busily carving up Africa, while local tribes were still unashamedly trading in slaves, the vulnerable newcomers felt trapped and out of place. Where men should have stood shoulder to shoulder, they turned on each other instead.

New England Bound: Slavery and Colonization in Early America

Wendy Warren. Liverigh. ISBN 978-0-87140-672-9. 2016

Warren shows how the institution of slavery was inexorably linked with the first century of English colonization of New England. Leading New England families like the Winthrops and Pynchons invested heavily in the West Indies, owning both land and human property, the profits of which eventually wended their way back north. That money, was fuelled the colonial wars of removal and replacement of New England Indians that characterized the initial colonization of the region. Native Americans were systematically sold as slaves to plantations in the Caribbean.

The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition

Manisha Sinha. New Haven, CT, Yale University Press. 2016.  ISBN: 9780300181371

See review at:

Imperial Underworld: An Escaped Convict and the Transformation of the British Colonial Order

Kirsten McKenzie. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-107-07073-8

A radical new account of the legal, constitutional and administrative transformations that unfolded during the British colonial order of the 1820s. Includes chapter: ‘In return for services rendered’: liberated Africans or prize(d) slaves?.

Scandal of Colonial Rule. Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic during the Age of Revolution

James Epstein. Cambridge University Press.  ISBN: 9781107003309

This is about the 1806 General Thomas Picton, governor of Trinidad’s trial for the torture of a free mulatto named Louisa Calderon and for overseeing a regime of terror over the island’s slave population.

The Material Atlantic. Clothing, Commerce, and Colonization in the Atlantic World, 1650–1800

Robert DuPlessis. Cambridge University Press ISBN: 9781107105911. 2016

Paul Robeson

Stogie Kenyatta, who was born in Jamaica but grew up in Brooklyn, is winning acclaim for his “One Man Broadway Show” – “The World is My Home – The Life of Paul Robeson”.

Howard University has loaned Paukl Robeson items from its collection to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture

Rob Edelman discusses Robeson in Show Boat and the modern London production.

Met’s First Black Officer Became Superintendent in 1856

Stephen Bourne has uncovered the story of Robert Branford who policed Southwark from 1838 to 1866. 

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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