Publication Date: 13/10/2022 ISBN: 9781472991577 Category:


Jimi Famurewa

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 13/10/2022 ISBN: 9781472991577 Category:


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A journey into the extraordinary, vibrant world of Black African London which is shaping modern Britain.

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.

Publisher Review

As thrilling as it is touching and revealing - this book is an indispensable map to London today. * Ben Judah, Journalist and author of This is London: Life and Death in the World City * Illuminating and fascinating, with humour and some surprises, Jimi Famurewa examines Britain's African communities, past and present. * Stephen Bourne, author of Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War * Jimi brings modern black London alive like no other author. This feels like an important book that is also a total pleasure to read. * Sathnam Sanghera, author of EmpireLand: How Modern Britain is Shaped by its Imperial Past * Settlers is the book I didn't know I was waiting for. Jimi Famurewa approaches an incredibly complicated topic with a steady hand and fine precision that results in a book that is well researched, rich in nuance and handled with care. It was as enjoyable to read as it was enlightening. * Jendella Benson, author of Hope & Glory * This is an extraordinary and beautifully written piece of work that deals with a deeply complex and rich history with a remarkable lightness of touch, sensitivity, warmth and insight. It is depressing to reflect on the reality that all too many people continue to question the benefits of immigration. This fine book shows beyond any doubt that London, and this country, is all the better for its Black African population. * James Ramsden *

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