Local authors document Black History in Southampton

PUBLISHED : December 14, 2022

WORDS : Don John

A Black History of Southampton – by Don John and Stella Muirhead

Shining a light on a crucial, yet often overlooked, facet of Southampton’s history is the book ‘A Black History of Southampton: 16th Century to 21st Century’ by Don John and Stella Muirhead. This comprehensive work provides a layered exploration of the city’s Black history, countering the common misconception that Black presence in Southampton began only with The Windrush Generation.

John and Muirhead meticulously chart a timeline from the 16th to the 21st century, bringing to the forefront the significant roles that Black individuals and communities have played in shaping the city’s identity. Beyond a catalogue of events, this book offers a vivid portrayal of real lives and stories, underscoring the enduring impact of Black contributions to Southampton.

‘A Black History of Southampton’ serves as a valuable resource for those keen on understanding the breadth of the city’s history. By spotlighting the untold stories of Black individuals and communities in Southampton, the authors offer readers a unique opportunity to appreciate the diverse influences that have shaped the city over centuries.

Black Stories: Southampton – By Don John

Unearthing a rich array of narratives from Southampton’s past, ‘Black Stories: Southampton’ by Don John offers readers an engaging journey through the city’s history. The book features 20 carefully curated stories and events, tracing the presence of Black individuals from the 16th century to the present.

John showcases a spectrum of personalities, from the noteworthy Jacques Francis the diver, to Alexander Patterson who managed a Southampton pub at the turn of the century, and even pop culture icon Bob Marley, who had surprising connections to the city. These stories serve to illuminate the diverse experiences and significant contributions of Black people in Southampton.

‘Black Stories: Southampton’ is more than just a collection of tales; it’s a call to recognize and appreciate the depth of Black history in the city. The stories in this book, often tied to recognizable human faces, provide a personal and relatable perspective on the issues they represent.

In ‘Black Stories: Southampton’, Don John invites readers to delve deeper into the city’s past, uncovering the layers of its diverse heritage. It’s a testament to the untold history of Black presence in the city, bringing to light the personal narratives that add depth and richness to our understanding of Southampton’s history.

Both books are available at October Books Portswood & The John Hansard Gallery.