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Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Their Presence, Status and Origins

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Do we imagine English history as a book with white pages and no black letters in?

We sometimes think of Tudor England in terms of gaudy costumes, the court of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and perhaps Shakespearian romance.
Onyeka's book acknowledges this predilection but challenges our perceptions.

Onyeka's book is about the presence, status and origins of Africans in Tudor
Paperback, 1, 463 pages
Published September 16th 2013 by Narrative Eye Ltd (first published 2013)
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 ·  89 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: african-lit, history
Review originally posted at (February 2014)

A criminally neglected part of British history is the true scope of the African diaspora in Britain that reaches as far back as Renaissance Europe. A new book by Onyeka Nubia seeks to rectify the problem, examining the lives of the thousands of blacks that lived in the UK in Tudor times. In Blackamoores: Africans in Tudor England, Onyeka Nubia shares research conducted in uncovering early evidence of Black existence in the U
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is not so much a non-fiction book, but more of a thesis, or perhaps a textbook for history students. I found it incredibly hard to read, almost A4 sized and 450 pages, it's a brick, but the inside was not constructed particularly well either. The whole book is typed in double spacing, with huge chunks of references, which are of course necessary, but don't help with the layout. As for the actual content, I read 100 pages, then began to skip and skim. A large part of the writing is dedicated ...more
G. Lawrence
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating find this book was ! A fresh look at the presence and status of black people in Tudor England, and a challenge to all pre-conceived ideas on the subject.
Even though I've spent most of my life reading about the Tudors I hardly knew any of the interesting facts and cases this book brought up. Riveting and well written. I'd give it 10 stars if I could!
Mary Simmons
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Much has been written about the Tudors; not a week goes by when we don't hear of some programme on TV, a best selling new book or a film about them. However after reading this book by Onyeka, one has to realise the fundamental flaw in the image promoted by the mainstream media about the Tudors. Fundamentally historians, writers, filmmakers have projected a Tudor England that is entrenched in falsehood and jingoism. However the truth of the matter is, England was a multi-cultural society, and Afr ...more
Raine Fleary
Dec 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
How refreshing to finally have a book that confronts the common misconception of any existence 'other than the Europeans' in English History. The world is your oyster with this book. It opens the mind to unlimited possibilities pertaining to the African existence beyond that of even the 15CE.
Africans in Tudor England were present and were regarded differently to what we learn about them from say the 18th CE and beyond.

The font size of this books make easy. My children have picked it up and con
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing

What a great read! I found `The Blackamoores' to be a refreshing change to the image of every African being a slave in English history. Finally, to read something which teaches many (old and young) that actually Africans have contributed to England in ways we never knew.

The book gave facts in an informative way and illustrated how the history of African people in England has to be shown for what it truly is. I think the book would have a great impact if more knew and appreciated what it containe
Martha Gideon
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is true what they say, that history is written by the victors and it is His-story. For too long the historical experiences and the contributions of Africans in England has gone ignored. There is a veil that has divided us; this division being those who have come since 1948 and those Africans before 1948. This book has pulled down the curtains and exposed a window by which Africans in Britain today can claim an ancestral legacy, and roots so deep in this country, that it has frightened the aca ...more
Brethan Bray
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A captivating book for every household. I have taught history with a focus on Tudor England for over 20 years and this is the first comprehensive work of this period to focus on Black Tudors.

I have heard and read other authors make reference to the blacks in Tudor England however mainly as slaves and hardly no evidence about the multiple other positions they held.

I will certainly use this book as a source to create my lesson plans and highly recommend it to other teachers in my field.
Piers Haslam
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
I was a little afraid that this book would be more polemic than history, but it's actually hugely well researched and revealing. Onyeka's knowledge of West African history in the 16th and 17th centuries really gives one the sense of a multi-dimensional world. Not just people coming from somewhere vaguely determined... but a world of dynamic relationships. This really puts a very different spin on the Tudor period in Britain. Much recommended. ...more
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reccommendations
This is a ground breaking book, some idea of just how ground breaking this book is can be found in the fifty-two rejections Onyeka received when proposing it as subject of a doctorate. Most of the rebuffs were on the grounds that there was no one in the university’s department with the knowledge to supervise his subject. Onyeka is to be praised for overcoming his feelings of ‘failure and resignation’ to produce the work.

He argues that not only was there a black presence in the period but black A
Akosua Adjei
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A solid well researched book. I will have to recommend this.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book provides a valuable insight into a period of history that I have seen only in a distorted perspective from my early education, through to modern representations of the Tudor period. It sheds light on the origins of terms, ideals and prejudices that have become entrenched in our everyday speech, customs and lives and in some cases forgotten completely.

There are a considerable amount of images included in the book that help to illustrate the points being raised and support the primary ev
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Think about going through life without belonging. Well that is the case for most Black people in England but reading this book has given me a new sense of belonging.
I do not know why it takes a book to make you realise that it is okay for you to be classed as English or even to allow you to form ties to this land but I am glad it has.

The book gives and introduction to what Origins, Status and perceptions Africans/Blackamoores/Black people had in the Tudor period.
The book informs you about the
D Hunt
Dec 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating addition to the history of Tudor England and indeed World history. This book is a real eye opener containing omissions I certainly did not know about, from such a celebrated period of history.

Onyeka discusses with a very engaging style the positions of Africans in Tudor England, from servant to royalty! why they were there and what they were called. He gives the reasons why this was so and makes reference to numerous parish records and letters (as well as other evidence) to
Remal Morris
Dec 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Refreshing and much anticipated! Africans in Tudor England is a book that was waiting to be written!
The inclusion of visual proof of the African's status in Europe, solidifies the fact that Africans weren't confined to slave status in any country during the Tudor period. While we waffle on about immigration, it's clear that England has long been a diverse cultural melting pot. What England is now would have been undoubtedly shaped by ALL of the inhabitants of our land, back then. The book carri
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am in the process of reading Blackamoores for the second time.
The first time I read this book it had such an empowering affect on me.
For the first time I have been filled with a sense of being. All the history that I had previously been exposed to has never invoked such a positive understanding of my peoples history right here in the land I call home and was born.
The contributions made have and still have effects today, which are not recognised. A bit like the majority of history I have bee
Claire Braithwaite
Dec 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such a detailed book. Only half way through and I'm blown away by all the facts that are presented. Very well written and thoroughly explained.
Finally a history book that places Africans in Britain long before what school history classes have taught us, long before what most people know of 1947.
Onyeka, through research and facts, talks of the Africans that lived amongst and socialised with the people of Britain including royalty, showing that not all Africans that were here were here as slaves
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Onyeka was able to navigate through uncharted waters and literal minefield not just on our shores but continental wide to bring us such magnificent, detailed scholarly work.
With such tantalizing evidence we must truly be mad not to restructure our teaching of African history in our schools. In Tudor period as Onyeka states England/Britain was a third rated European whereby Spain and Portugal were the Major players, we know these societies were dominated by African/Moors the light bringers to Eur
Anthony Lee
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent piece of writing that depicts the plight of Africans during Tudor periods. The surprise in this piece is that Africans in England at this time where not slaves but lived and worked in England and made their own choices. Historians generally omit what the true plight of Africans where during this period. There is much more to the book and I recommend this book as an inspiring piece and a must read.
BM Productions
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A book that the eyes of African (black)in Britain needs to feast their eyes and mind on,truly Blacktastic.. The evidence is undeniable and irrefutable fact truth of Our-story! - That surely needs to be implemented into the school curriculum.
Having said that I do have a personal issue with 'so called 'black his-story' but if we are going to learn our-story of our presence on this island known as Britain,Africarribeans (black)should know it from this book. Outstanding!
David King
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A lovely body of literature, most valued for the detail and references that accompany the visual evidence.
Not wanting to over-egg the review, but it has to be said - This is an eye-opener and a book that may change the way history is taught and observed. Of the many re-enactments on stage and screen, the African presence is very much played down when it comes to Tudor England.
The truth has its way of bubbling up to the surface!

Excellent work.
Jan 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing

The most engaging history book I have read to date. A refreshing and innovative outlook on history supported with strong research.

It really grabs one's attention and depicts the Tudor time Europe in a none linear fashion.

The African presence during this period of time provides an invaluable insight into the cultural, political and economical landscape of the period.

May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fair warning - this isn't a light or easy read. What it IS is an incredibly well-done scholarly book on a deeply neglected subject. *Highly* recommended for anyone with serious interest in the Tudor period. ...more
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have been painted a picture of the Tudor England as an all White, this paint a different picture and show a different view. It can be hard for us to deal with an idea that we have held for so long, but knowing the past can ease burden. see the bigger picture and the stories behind them.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well worth a read!
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Onyeka Nubia (whose novels are published under the name Onyeka) is a British writer, law lecturer and historian. His books document the lives of Black Britons and his third novel, called The Phoenix, has been awarded the 2009 African Achievers award for Communication and Media for the psychological portrayal of the Black British experience.

(from Wikipedia)

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