Books

I'm Black So You Don't Have to Be​

‘I’m black, so you don’t have to be,’ Colin Grant’s uncle Castus used to tell him. For Colin, born in Britain to Jamaican parents, things were supposed to be different. If he worked hard and became a doctor, he was told, his race would become invisible; he would shake off the burden he believed his parents’ generation had carried. The reality turned out to be very different.

Homecoming

‘A remarkable oral history of black postwar British life… Homecoming is an extraordinary and compelling book’ Daily Telegraph

Homecoming draws on over a hundred first-hand interviews, archival recordings and memoirs by the women and men who came to Britain from the West Indies between the late 1940s and the early 1960s. In their own words, we witness the transition from the optimism of the first post-war arrivals to the race riots of the late 1950s.

** A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week**
**A Daily Telegraph Book of the Year**

Bageye at the Wheel

A powerful prescient memoir of life in 1970s Britain for a child of Windrush generation parents.

‘This book is a classic’ Sunday Telegraph

To his fellow West Indians who assemble every weekend for the all-night poker game at Mrs Knight’s, he is always known as Bageye. There aren’t very many black men in Luton in 1972 and most of them gather there: Summer Wear, Pioneer, Anxious, Tidy Boots – each has his nickname.

A Smell of Burning

[A] brilliant, tender book… An extraordinary work of love and art, which left me choked with tears.
Maggie Gee, Observer

One day Colin Grant’s teenage brother Christopher failed to emerge from the bathroom. His family broke down the door to find him unconscious on the floor. None of their lives were ever the same again.

Negro with a Hat: Marcus Garvey

Discover the definitive biography of Marcus Garvey

‘Grant is an accomplished storyteller and writes with an elegance leavened by wit and cynicism that makes this book eminently readable’ Guardian

At one time during the first half of the twentieth century, Marcus Garvey was the most famous black man on the planet. Hailed as both the ‘black Moses’ and merely ‘a Negro with a hat’, he masterminded the first International Convention of the Negro Peoples of the World, began the Universal Negro Improvement Association and captivated audiences with his powerful speeches and audacious ‘Back to Africa’ programme.

I & I: The Natural Mystics

The history of the original Wailers – Tosh, Livingstone and Marley – as never before told.

‘In Grant’s hands life in Trench Town in the 1960’s is energetic and theatrical, rich in comedy and tragic irony…This brilliant book is not just about Jamaica, but about ourselves’ Guardian

Over one dramatic decade, a trio of Trench Town R&B crooners, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Bob Marley, swapped their 1960s Brylcreem hairdos and two-tone suits for 1970s battle fatigues and dreadlocks to become the Wailers – one of the most influential groups in popular music.