Books · Reviews

(Audio) Book Thoughts: Black and British (David Olusoga)


Title: Black and British: A Forgotten History
Author: David Olusoga Narrator: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Genre: Non-fiction / History / Cultural
First published: 2016
Edition: Audio book

In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean.

It took me a long time to listen to this audio book, mainly because I felt I wanted to take in every word of what was being said. I thought I had a decent knowledge of black history in Britain, but there were so many aspects that were either new to me or that I had simply never considered.

By far the largest part of this book is devoted to Britain’s relationship with the slave trade. It is a long and complicated history and the author has really taken the time to research the subject very thoroughly. He covers the span of the slave trade in great historical detail, but I never found it boring. Rather, I found it incredibly interesting.

A relative small part of the book is devoted to Britain’s relationship with race in the twentieth century. This put the spotlight on issues that I was aware of, but it broadened my knowledge and understanding of the past and how it relates to current race relations.

Although I found I needed to pay attention to take it all in, I did not find it heavy going. Maybe this was because I was truly interested in the subject. Books like these are important and they can open our eyes to parts of history that tend to get left out. After all, history taught in schools is largely the history of the white man.

If you have an interest in black history, I would highly recommend reading this book.

(This is a long audio book at 25+ hours, but the narrator did a great job and I found him very easy to listen to. )

6 out of 7 stars


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