NEW BOOK - OUT SOON
What can London’s streets, monuments and landmarks reveal about Black history and why is it more important than ever to learn about these sites?
Multicultural London has long been famed for its iconic sites, but many of these locations belong to a mainstream version of history, which far too often overlooks relevant, interesting and important events. Black London is the first guidebook to reveal and recognise the people, places and stories that deserve the spotlight - and to uncover both the truly global history of the capital both before and after the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948.
With easy-to-use maps and arranged by geographical area, this accessible guide will encourage and inspire Londoners, visitors and tourists to explore the vibrant local and global history, art and culture of Black London through:
Intriguing murals, statues, plaques and monuments old and new, such as the stunning needle carved in Egypt 3,500 years ago, which sits on the Victoria Embankment and the striking Black Lives Matter mural in Woolwich
Fascinating artworks, artefacts, place names and memorials in public spaces that many don’t know are connected to Black history
The stories of extraordinary men and women who made their mark across over five centuries: from Henry VIII’s court trumpeter, John Blanke; to eighteenth century writer and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano; to journalist and activist, Claudia Jones; to present-day Londoners who’ve brought about significant change to this city
The significant black contribution in shaping London’s history, why this deserves to be told and how to use the everyday geography of London in an informative and eye-opening new way
Discovering important places including the Black Cultural Archives, the Africa Centre, the Autograph Gallery, New Beacon Bookshop as well as the Stuart Hall Library which form part of London’s multicultural landscape
The authors hope this carefully researched and beautifully illustrated book will act as a springboard for anyone keen to learn more about the rich, multifaceted, and surprising world of Black history in this city.
Avril and Jody commented: “We felt there was a real need for a book of this kind. Black history is often missing from guidebooks or limited as an academic subject in textbooks. We wanted to make it easy-to-access; to be explored any day, by anyone. What better way to celebrate black history and culture than by walking the streets where history was made?”
Black London: History, Art & Culture in over 120 places, by Avril Nanton and Jody Burton, will be published in paperback by Inkspire on Windrush Day, 22nd June 2021, £10.99.
Avril Nanton is the founder of ‘Avril’s Walks and Talks’, walking tours of London’s Black history. Beginning with a tour around Islington, where she had studied, Avril soon expanded to more locations. In response to popular demand, she included a walk called Black statues around Westminster which has proved to be her most popular walk. During the pandemic she converted some of these into virtual walks and presented them to audiences via Zoom. She runs Black history courses with Robin Walker, a renowned author and historian. Last year, after the George Floyd murder, running the courses on Black British History, they were inundated with interest, particularly from Europeans wanting to learn more about the Black presence in London.
Jody Burton has been a mature student of Caribbean Studies and has a background in adult education, initially teaching English as a Second Language. In 2012 she started working in the library sector, firstly within FE colleges and then the public sector, which made her very aware of the lack of black representation, both in fiction and non-fiction books particularly regarding history and children’s literature. She has a longstanding interest in Black art and hosted a Black Arts Group via Meetup from 2016-2019.