Bringing Voices Together at The British Library

Bringing Voices Together: Inclusivity in independent publishing in contemporary Britain.

Chantelle Lewis is a PhD student working at the British Library on a project on independent publishing about publishers of African and Asian descent. In this post, Chantelle talks about her project and the event she created for 7 September 2017 at the end of her placement period.

 Kavita Bhanot                 Dr. Kavita Bhanot will be one of the panellists discussing issues of representation within publishing, how they’re being countered, and recommending the ways the British Library can engage more actively with independent publishers committed to inclusivity.

Further blogs from participants will follow

A list of Black British Book Publishers

A comprehensive list of past and present Black British Publishers.

This list will continually be updated and amended alongside profiles on each one. Amendments and additions to this list are welcome. Please send them to

Early Book Publishers who were also activists. Publishing was not their sole activity New Beacon Books Bogle L’Ouverture Hansib Publications Institute of Race Relations
No longer publishing. Akira Press Black Amber (Publisher Rosemarie Hudson) sold Black Amber and set up Hope Road) Brown Skin Books Heaventree Press Karia Press Karnak House Mango Press Suitcase Press Tamarind Books (now part of Random House). Publisher Verna Wilkins set up Firetree Books as a pilot but has in Spring 2017 decided to discontinue. XPress

Publishers currently in operation.
Cassava Republic Flipped Eye Hope Road Jacaranda Books and Art Lime House Books Own It Peepal Tree Press Saqi
This is a list of book publishers only (a separate list for magazine publishers will be produced).

Raising the Visibility of Black British Publishers

A feature on  Black British Publishers that I wrote can be found on Ampersand, the book blog of 'And Other Stories'
The history of Black publishers in Britain, much like other areas of Black history is at best invisible, or worse, misrepresented and misunderstood. The irony is that, although Black publishers tell the stories of Blacks in Britain, their own stories have until recently remained untold, even within the growing body of work on Black history.  For example, in one of the most highly regarded texts of Black history in Britain, Staying Power by Peter Fryer, the mention of pioneering Black publishers amounts to one paragraph.
However, 2015 was a turning point as two exhibitions in London featured the work and legacy of New Beacon Books (founded by Trinidadian John La Rose in 1966) and Bogle L’Ouverture Press, (founded by Eric and Jessica Huntley in 1967). ‘No Colour Bar’ at the Guildhall Gallery and ‘A Dream to Change the World’ at the Islington Museum (yes, John La Ros…

Indie Book Show Africa

Nadia Maddy publishes book reviews  online in  Indie Book Show Africa

Three book Reviews

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Indie Book Show Africa - 3 Reviews

Aya #1 of Yop City Comics by Marguerite Abouet, illustrated by Clément Oubrerie reviewed by Kirsty Osei Bempong, blogger and journalist is reviewing for us

A Taste of Africa by Dorinda Hafner, a Ghana-born cook reviewed by Leslie Leigh founder of - information on African cuisine, African dishes and African cooking is reviewing for us

Kings, Priests, and Kinsmen: Essays on Ga Culture and Society This collection of E. A. Ammah's ethnographic writing includes essays and other documents - Kings, Priests, and Kinsmen: Essays on Ga Culture and Society by E.A Ammah edited by Marion Kilson reviewed by Naa Adjeley Gborjorr 5*

The Scholar Interview: E.Ethelbert Miller interviews the Publisher of Black Classic Press - part 1

The Scholar Interview with Publisher W.Paul Coates of Black Classic  Press 

Part one: Biographical  information; his interest in books;
the founding of Black Classic Press. 

The Scholar Interview: E.Ethelbert Miller interviews W. Paul Coates, Publisher of Black Classic Press - part 2

Part 2 His involvement with the Black Panther Party ; the raising of his son multi award winning writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates.


I’ve been meaning to set up this blog for a while… for so many reasons, but then the push, then the shove came when I decided to do the research for my PhD on Black British Publishers. Then it recently came to notice that this is a landmark time to celebrate and recognise Black publishers. The end of 2016 into 2017 has seen a surge of anniversaries in the black publishing world for us to recognise, celebrate and congratulate those who have achieved in this field.
50th Anniversaries
New Beacon Books Publishers, activists and bookshop owners, New Beacon is the oldest surviving black bookshop in the UK at 76 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 T:020 72724889
Ngugi visited old friends at New Beacon bookshop when transiting via London in January 2017
Allison & Busby Margaret Busby published her first book with Clive Allison. She was the first Black woman in Britain to become a publisher.