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Except where otherwise noted, this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Please cite or link the materials you are using.

This is an educational, non-commercial project. The images and documents have been provided courtesy of the named archives and organisations.



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This project started as an exhibition in 2017 at the Old Low Light Heritage and Community Centre sponsored by the AHRC and British Academy’s Being Human Festival. Paths Across Waters aims to foreground the diverse and global history of the North East –and Britain more generally— that started long before the post-war period and the so-called Windrush generation.

The website is copyright of Dr Vanessa Mongey. Dr. Mongey is a historian and the author of Rogue Revolutionaries: The Fight for Legitimacy in the Greater Caribbean (University of Pennsylvania Press: 2020 Description, Table of Contents, and More). You can learn more about Dr Mongey's research here

Thomas Monaghan and Hannah Kent provided valuable contributions to this project.

Links to additional information have been included in each essay. Here is a short bibliography of works on Black British history:

Adi, Hakim. West Africans in Britain: 1900-1960. Nationalism, Pan-Africanism, and Communism. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1998 and  “African Political Thinkers, Pan-Africanism and the Politics of Exile, c. 1850-1970.” Immigrants & Minorities 30: 2-3 (2012): 263-291

Armstrong, Craig. “Aliens in Wartime: A Case Study of Tyneside 1939-1975.” 25: 2 (2007): 119-140

Bressey, Caroline. “Reporting oppression: mapping racial prejudice in Anti-Caste 1888-1895.” Journal of Historical Geography 38 (2012): 401-411

Collins, Marcus. “Pride and Prejudice: West Indian Men in Mid-Twentieth-Century Britain” Journal of British Studies 40 (2001): 391-418

Collins, Sidney. “Moslem and Negro Groupings on Tyneside/ A Comparative Study of Social Integration in Terms of Intra-Group and Inter-Group Relations.” PhD dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 1952

Creighton, Sean.“Black People and the North East.”North East History 39 (2008): 11-24

Flint, John. ‘Scandal at the Bristol Hotel: Some Thoughts on Racial Discrimination in Britain and West Africa and its Relationship to the Planning of Decolonisation, 1939–47.” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 12, no. 1 (1983): 74–93

Frost, Diane. Work and Community Among West African Migrant Workers Since the Nineteenth Century. Liverpool University Press, 1999

Fryer, Peter. Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain. London: Pluto, 1984

Gopal, Priyamvada. Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent. London: Verso Books, 2019

Killingray, David. “‘To do something for the race’ Harold Moody and the League of Coloured Peoples.” in West Indian intellectuals in Britain. Manchester University Press, 2018

Little, Kenneth. Negroes in Britain. London: Routledge, 2000

Lorimer, Douglas A.”Legacies of slavery for race, religion, and empire. S.J. Celestine Edwards and the (1894)”Slavery and Abolition (2018)

Mack, Sheree. “Black Voices and Absences in the Commemorations of Abolition in North East England.”Slavery and Abolition 30: 2 (2009): 247-257

Matera, Marc. Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century. University of California Press, 2015

Murray, Hannah-Rose.“’With almost electric speed’: mapping African American abolitionists in Britain and Ireland, 1838-1847.” Slavery and Abolition (2018)

Olusoga, David. Black and British: A Forgotten History. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

Perry, Kenetta Hammond. “Black Britain and the Politics of Race in the 20th Century.” History Compass 12: 8 (2014): 651-663

Rose, Sonya O. “Race, Empire and British Wartime Nation& Identity, 1939-1945.” Historical Research 74: 184 (2001): 220-237

Schwarz, Bill. West Indian Intellectuals in Britain. Manchester University Press, 2003

Sherwood, Marika. Many Struggles: West Indian Workers and Service Personnel in Britain (1939-1945). London: Karia Press; 1985

Stockwell, A.J. “Leaders, dissidents and the Disappointed: Colonial Students in Britain as empire ended.” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 36: 3 (2008): 487-507

Tabili, Laura. “The Construction of Racial Difference in Twentieth-Century Britain: The Special Restriction (Coloured Alien Seamen) Order, 1925.” Journal of British Studies 33: 1 (1994): 54-98

Whittall, Daniel. “Creating Black Places in Imperial London: The League of Coloured Peoples and Aggrey House, 1931-1943.” The London Journal 36:3 (2011): 225-246

Walvin, James. The Black Presence: A Documentary History of the Negro. London, Orbach and Chambers, 1971

Ward, Brian. Martin Luther King in Newcastle: The African American Freedom Struggle and Race Relations in the North East of England. Newcastle: Tyne Bridge Publishing, 2017

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