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African Europeans

African Europeans

A dazzling, landmark history of Africans in Europe, revealing old and diverse links between the two continents.

The presence of people of African descent in Europe is widely believed to be a recent phenomenon, but as early as the third century, St Maurice – an Egyptian – was said to have become leader of the legendary Roman Theban Legion. Ever since, there have been richly varied encounters between those defined as ‘Africans’ and those called ‘Europeans’.

In African Europeans, Olivette Otele traces a long heritage of African Europeans through the lives of individuals both ordinary and extraordinary. She uncovers a forgotten past, from Emperor Septimius Severus to enslaved Africans living in Europe during the Renaissance, all the way to present-day migrants moving to Europe’s cities. By exploring a history that has been long overlooked, she sheds light on questions very much alive today – on racism, identity, citizenship, power and resilience.

This is a landmark account of a crucial but overlooked thread in Europe’s complex history.

(P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
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Genre: Humanities / History / History: Specific Events & Topics / Social & Cultural History

On Sale: 22nd October 2020

Price: £24.99

ISBN-13: 9781529364064

Reviews

'This is a book I have been waiting for my whole life. It goes beyond the numerous individual black people in Europe over millennia, to show us the history of the very ideas of blackness, community and identity on the continent that has forgotten its own past. A necessary and exciting read.'
Afua Hirsch
'Rich in storytelling, discovery, question-making and a way forward, African Europeans covers no old ground. This is new-and European history itself is not complete without this book.'
Bonnie Greer
'Yoking together the "African" and the "European", too often treated as entirely separate categories, Otele skilfully invites her reader to navigate the multiple intersecting worlds inhabited by her characters. This is fundamentally reparative writing that undoes the cultivated ignorance around race and blackness in Europe and shows us what is irrefutably true-that black history is European history, indeed, world history.'
Priyamvada Gopal
'This is a book that all must read-now. This story has been lived not just for centuries but for millennia, all the while being consistently suppressed, denied or untold. Searing scholarship and heightened humanity combine to illuminate, appal, explore and ultimately inspire.'
Bettany Hughes
'Fascinating. Otele reconnects us with the men and women who came from Africa to shape European history: rulers, diplomats, slaves and soldiers-above all, our ancestors.'
Dan Snow
'The first survey this century of the fascinating 2,000-year-long history of Africans in Europe. Otele's masterful narrative weaves together the lives of prominent figures-St Maurice, Jacobus Capitein, Manga Bell, Paulette and Jane Nardal-with those of everyday people.'
Hakim Adi
'A nuanced, thoughtful retelling of the stories of African Europeans, with extraordinary scope. Otele triumphs in her commitment to countering the experiences of the privileged with those of the enslaved. This is a learned, impassioned and searingly important history.'
Suzannah Lipscomb
'Important, exciting and illuminating. Otele takes us through centuries of history we think we know, but shifts the lens onto those who have been deliberately excluded from traditional historical narratives. This book will change how you look at the past and introduce you to wonderful characters with rich and revealing lives.'
Janina Ramirez
'A magisterial book-brilliant, humane and gripping, and a call to arms for an end to violence and subjugation. Otele explores the individual lives of African Europeans against great shifts of history, and the result is a masterpiece.'
Kate Williams
'The scope of Otele's research is awesome, as is her unflinching analysis of the shifting prisms through which African Europeans-particularly women-have had to contest their identities. Full of powerful stories with deep roots and livid scars, African Europeans is scholarly, revelatory and important.'
Jessie Childs
'Olivette Otele is a scholar with a vivid intellect and a deep sense of right and wrong. African Europeans forces us to reassess the past so that we can imagine a different future.'
Fiammetta Rocco