Staying Power. The History of Black People in Britain. By Peter Fryer
'Encyclopedic, courageous and passionately written there is no more important and no more ground breaking a book on Black British history than 'Staying Power'. Everyone who has researched or written on the subject since its publication in 1984 owes something to Fryer' - David Olusoga, author of 'Black and British: A Forgotten History'
Staying Power is a panoramic history of black Britons. Stretching back to the Roman conquest, encompassing the court of Henry VIII, and following a host of characters from Mary Seacole to the abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, Peter Fryer paints a picture of two thousand years of Black presence in Britain.
First published in the '80s, amidst race riots and police brutality, Fryer's history performed a deeply political act; revealing how Africans, Asians and their descendants had long been erased from British history. By rewriting black Britons into the British story, showing where they influenced political traditions, social institutions and cultural life, was - and is - a deeply effective counter to a racist and nationalist agenda.
This new edition includes the classic introduction by Paul Gilroy, author of There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack, in addition to a brand-new foreword by Guardian journalist Gary Younge, which examines the book's continued significance today as we face Brexit and a revival of right wing nationalism.
Peter Fryer (1927-2006) was a jazz-playing Marxist author and activist. He was expelled from the Communist Party in 1956 for rejecting Stalinism, and later fought the imperial mendacity of whitewashed British history, authoring the now- classic Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (Pluto, 2018).