• 2020
  • Liverpool University Press
  • Kindle, Hardcover

Britain's Black Past

This title is not yet published.

Based on the 2016 series for BBC Radio 4, Gretchen Gerzina explores a largely unknown past—the lives of black people who settled in Britain in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

She reveals a startling paradox: Although Britain was at the heart of a thriving slave trade, it was still possible for many black people to live there in freedom and prosperity. A few even made it to the very top of fashionable society.

But there were others who were brought over by slave-owners from the West Indies and who were never free, despite living for the rest of their lives in Glasgow or Bristol or London. Some took the law into their own hands, and managed to free themselves, while others went further and advocated violent revolution. Free or unfree, they all saw Britain as a place of opportunity that could become a home.