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Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In 1914, there were at least 10,000 black Britons, many of African and West Indian heritage, fiercely loyal to their Mother Country. Despite being discouraged from serving in the British Army during World War I, men managed to join all branches of the armed forces, and black communities made a vital contribution, both on the front and at home.

By 1918, it is estimated that
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Paperback, 174 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by The History Press (first published January 31st 2013)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Paul
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-one
4.5 stars
“The near-total exclusion from our history books of black servicemen in the First World War is shameful…. Some black servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice … and like Walter Tull, died on the battlefields but with the passing of time, with the exception of Tull, the contributions of black servicemen have been forgotten”
Part of my periodic reading concerning WW1; this fills many of the gaps in conventional histories. It charts the involvement of black soldiers in the conflict and the rea
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K.J. Charles
This is an extremely useful account of black lives in England in the post-Edwardian times--it divides between soldiers, home front in WW1, then post war. Lots of stories, quoting lots of voices, and making it very clear that 20th-century black British history didn't start with the Windrush. Some utterly shameful stuff on the 1919 race riots, which I'd barely heard of, and heartbreaking accounts of loneliness, but also a lot of people standing up for themselves, families, and communities, some gr ...more
Andrew
Stephen Bourne relates the lives of people of African descent in Britain during the period of the first World War. We find not only a thriving Black community at that time but many individuals who distinguished themselves in Britain's army, navy and air force.

I particularity liked the set of photographs from the period plus the extensive reference provided by the author. Having reached the centenary of the first world war, this book has to be recommended reading for anyone interested in the hist
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Jbondandrews
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good start for further studies for the Black British community
Roisin
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this! This amazing history book by Stephen Bourne looks at those that fought, were in the army and distinguished themselves during WW1 and were from the black, African and Caribbean communities in Britain and the British colonies.

The book is split into three parts, besides looking at the British West Indian Regiment, it also features a look at notable people like Jamaican Prime Minister, Norman Manley, Walter Tull, Amanda and Avril Aldridge and many other people that I have
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Bob Duke
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I choose to read this book due to the outbreak of post Brexit racism that has become manifest in the UK. I had noted on social media some posts by those who favoured Brexit seeing this as making golliwogs socially acceptable again. Perhaps those who a desirous of this need to read this book.
Andria Williams
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
A really great collection of known information about black service members with the British Army in WWI. Author is thorough, passionate about his subject, and personally invested in his historical research.
Alan
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The term 'forgotten war' appears all to often. Its use is justified. For one reason or another records are lost. This is another chapter in history that has gaps. It is important, therefore, books like this are written. This book is well researched but there are negatives. The dissertation style of writing has a heavy use of quotations. It can feel brief. The introductory chapters includes analytical interviews which is a good approach but the rest of the book does not continue in this way.
Helen Pakpahan
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really interesting collection of biographies and accpunts of Black British and Caribbean soliders experiences in World War One.
Also includes first-hand recollections of 1919 race riots in Liverpool and Cardiff.
Sophie
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating subject matter but weak execution, very underdeveloped portraits of black people in the UK around WWI
Lorna
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book! If you learn just one thing from a book, it was worth reading - I learnt a LOT from this one. It is very well written.
Sandra
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So interesting

A part of black history that I had never heard about. Just amazing that there is not more known about this.
Yasmin
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Long overdue book on the history and lives of Black servicemen in the UK for primarily the First World War. It's brief but very much worth to read.
Patrice
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read the newer edition to the one shown here - very insightful!
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Stephen Bourne is a British writer, film and social historian specialising in black culture.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen...

Librarian Note:
There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
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