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).
Foreword by Gary Younge Introduction by Paul Gilroy 1. 'Those kind of people' 2. Necessary Implements 3. Britain's Slave Ports 4. The Black Community Takes Shape 5. Eighteenth Century Voices 6. Slavery & the Law 7. The Rise of English Racism 8. Up from Slavery 9. Challenges to Empire 10. Under Attack 11. The Settlers 12. The New Generation