Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century

Black London: The Imperial Metropolis and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century

University of California Press
May 2015
414 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780520284296
Paperback ISBN: 9780520284302
E-Book ISBN: 9780520959903

Marc Matera, Assistant Professor of History
University of California, Santa Cruz

This vibrant history of London in the twentieth century reveals the city as a key site in the development of black internationalism and anticolonialism. Marc Matera shows the significant contributions of people of African descent to London’s rich social and cultural history, masterfully weaving together the stories of many famous historical figures and presenting their quests for personal, professional, and political recognition against the backdrop of a declining British Empire. A groundbreaking work of intellectual history, Black London will appeal to scholars and students in a variety of areas, including postcolonial history, the history of the African diaspora, urban studies, cultural studies, British studies, world history, black studies, and feminist studies.


  • List of Illustrations
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction: The Imperial and Atlantic Horizons of Black London
  • 1. Afro-metropolis: Black Political and Cultural Associations in Interwar London
  • 2. Black Internationalism and Empire in the 1930s
  • 3. Black Feminist Internationalists
  • 4. Sounds of Black London
  • 5. Black Masculinity and Interracial Sex at the Heart of the Empire
  • 6. Black Intellectuals and the Development of Colonial Studies in Britain
  • 7. Pan-Africa in London, Empire Films, and the Imperial Imagination
  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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