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Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain

4.51  ·  Rating Details ·  55 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Staying Power is recognized as the definitive history of black people in Britain, an epic story that begins with the Roman conquest and continues to this day. In a comprehensive account, Peter Fryer reveals how Africans, Asians, and their descendants, previously hidden from history, have profoundly influenced and shaped events in Britain over the course of the last two th
Paperback, Second Edition, 648 pages
Published November 6th 2010 by Pluto Press (first published January 1st 1984)
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Jamie Johnston
Sep 30, 2012 Jamie Johnston rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A white colleague asked me what I was reading and I said it was a history of black people in Britain. 'When does it start,' she said, 'the 1950s?' More like the 150s AD. Which just goes to show why people like us need to learn about these histories.

The book is compendious rather than profound, is by now some decades out of date, and is written by a white guy who therefore probably shows his whiteness in ways I wouldn't necessarily pick up on. But for me it's been a pretty good starting-point and
Jul 23, 2011 Malcolm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-history
Some 'salvage' history is shaming in the depth and richness of a recent past that it uncovers: Peter Fryer has done us a great service by taking into (intentionally) forgotten aspects of British history, showing the Black presence in the country during the Roman period, and almost continually since the late 16th century. Accessible, politically savvy, clearly written.
Miranda Kaufmann
Dec 01, 2012 Miranda Kaufmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review from the BASA Newsletter:

‘Peter Fryer, Staying Power’, Review, Black and Asian Studies Association Newsletter, 59 (March 2011), pp. 36-7.

Fryer’s masterly synthesis is still an impressive read 26 years after it was originally published. It has become a classic, a standard reference text. Although much research has been made recently into the areas he covers, no one has as yet made the labour of love necessary to bring it all together again in one narrative sweep. Fryer takes us through
Jun 25, 2010 Joel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfic
this seems broadly informed by ep thompson-style chronicling of active historical agents, with an added hint of contemporaneous 80s cccs discourse on race and identity (paul gilroy: "races are political colectivities, not ahistorical essences. 'race' is after all not the property of powerful, prejudiced individuals but an effect of complex relationships between dominant and subordinate social groups." [union jack, 196]) in the preface, fryer says there are two keys for understanding his organiza ...more
Elizabeth Oladunni
I haven't read other books on black history, but I can honestly say that Fryer's book is probably one of the best.

Enormously well researched, fluidly written, easy to understand - indeed, this book is a well of absolute brilliance.

I learnt so much about black history and black presence in the UK. In reading this book, not only did I learn about the early presence of black people in Britain but I also learnt about their significance in British history. Additionally, I was interested in the origin
Dec 26, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it
There were Africans in Britain before the English came here...

So begins this history of people of African (and Asian) descent in the British Isles. Peter Fryer has gathered a wealth of history commencing from the Roman times, which one would be hard put to find in most books on British history. As well as providing a general description of the lives of Black people over the period, this book details the many individuals and personalities who distinguished themselves over the course of time.

I was
Dean Simons
3.5 stars. 7/10.

Read as eBook.

A really good starting point to get a general idea of things from Roman times to the 1970s.

The best parts and the greater focus is given to the history before the 20th century. It was rather frustrating that the 20th century didn't warrant as much detail as the 15th to 19th. Maybe it was too recent for Fryer to wish to cover.

The more interesting parts of the book tend to have a narrative or biographical approach but frequently Fryer resorts to lists of facts, date
Jan 02, 2008 Jasper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Hadrian marched a legion of North African soldiers to Hadrian's Wall to repel the Caledonian Wildmen. That was around AD60. Since then there have been black people on these islands, they didn't arrive in the British Isles in the 1950s, they were here before the Vikings, Saxons and the Normans. The history extends from Roman times to the present day.

Peter Fryer's book is an eye opener but sadly it never appears in Bestseller lists, nor is it packaged up in sexy binding by Publishing houses - if i
Lucy Adlington
Aug 19, 2013 Lucy Adlington rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absorbing, detailed and long overdue. Fryer's work is an excellent starting point for those researching people of colour in the UK. Of course, there's always more research to be done
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