September Publishing buys The Guide to Black London

Steve I. Martin and Michael Ohajuru’s guide to discovering the city’s Afro-Caribbean history is out in 2022 September Publishing has bought the world rights in all languages to the first comprehensive guide to London’s Afro-Caribbean history. The Guide to Black London: Discovering the City’s Afro-Caribbean History by S. I. Martin and Michael Ohajuru was bought from Charlie Viney at the Viney Agency, and the book will be out in 2022.

The book is an illustrated guide to the impact of Black people on London’s politics, culture and self-image, offering area-by-area insights and peeling back the layers of the city through borough maps. Africans first appeared in London during the Roman occupation and Black People have been a ‘visible and continuous presence’ since the middle of the 16th century.

The Guide to Black London reveals the ‘networks of statesmen, writers, entrepreneurs, sportspeople, doctors, revolutionaries and others from all facets of life, who changed the history of the city and the world’, from the first Africans in Roman London up to the descendants of the Windrush Generation.

Martin and Ohajuru said: ‘Together we have over two decades of leading Black History tours in London. The most frequently asked question we have both found to be is: “Where is Black London?” The question could come from an African-American tourist, a white British academic or sometimes even a Black Londoner. The answer was always the same: “Black London is everywhere!” The Guide to Black London is our written response to enable that tourist, that academic and that Black Londoner to find that Black London is close at hand. Whether in the form of a venue for a celebrated entertainer, a meeting place for African or Caribbean independence movements or the home of a renowned writer or future head of state. The Guide to Black London reveals the impact, longevity and variety of the Black presence across the nation’s capital.’

Hannah MacDonald at September said: ‘We are delighted to be publishing this book in 2022. It is a massive undertaking – historical records for Afro-Caribbean women in particular are scant – and the recent closure of archives and libraries has slowed research. Even though this book is urgently needed, we are giving the authors time to uncover as much as possible. The combination of Michael’s work with the National Gallery and his expertise in Black subjects within art history with Steve’s guiding and writing on the history of Black lives in London will ensure a true picture of the city is painted, one that shows what a broad, diverse and inspiring place London is.’