Settlers by Jimi Famurewa
Settlers: Journeys Through the Food, Faith and Culture of Black African London by Jimi Famurewa
A journey into the hidden, vibrant world of Black African London. What makes a Londoner? What is it to be Black, African and British? And how can we understand the many tangled roots of our modern nation without knowing the story of how it came to be?
This is a story that begins not with the 'Windrush Generation' of Caribbean immigrants to Britain, but with post-1960s arrivals from African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Somalia. Some came from former British colonies in the wake of newfound independence; others arrived seeking prosperity and an English education for their children. Now, in the 2020s, their descendants have unleashed a tidal wave of creativity and cultural production stretching from Lambeth to Lagos, Islington to the Ivory Coast. Daniel Kaluuya and Skepta; John Boyega and Little Simz; Edward Enninful and Bukayo Saka - everywhere you look, across the fields of sport, business, fashion, the arts and beyond, there are the descendants of Black African families that were governed by many of the same immutable, shared traditions.
In this book Jimi Famurewa, a British-Nigerian journalist, journeys into the hidden yet vibrant world of African London. Seeking to understand the ties that bind Black African Londoners together and link them with their home countries, he visits their places of worship, roams around markets and restaurants, attends a traditional Nigerian engagement ceremony, shadows them on their morning journeys to far-flung grammar schools and listens to stories from shopkeepers and activists, artists and politicians.
But this isn't just the story of energetic, ambitious Londoners. Jimi also uncovers a darker side, of racial discrimination between White and Black communities and, between Black Africans and Afro-Caribbeans. He investigates the troublesome practice of 'farming' in which young Black Nigerians were sent to live with White British foster parents, examines historic interaction with the police, and reveals the friction between traditional Black African customs and the stresses of modern life in diaspora. This is a vivid new portrait of London, and of modern Britain.
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