Pan Macmillan has acquired BBC2 TV-tie in A Black History of Britain by BBC presenter David Olusoga.
A Black History of Britain will accompany a four-part BBC Two television series, reflecting on the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. It will be "unflinching" in its confrontation of taboos and scandals, according to publishers, while showing how black and white Britons have been "intimately entwined for centuries", drawing on genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews. The book will reach back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, the Domesday book and Shakespeare’s Othello.
Editorial director Georgina Morley acquired world English language (excluding US and Canada) from Charles Walker at United Agents and Daniel Mirzoeff at the BBC.
Morley said: "This is a hugely exciting acquisition for us. A Black History of Britain is a long overdue and vital re-examination of a shared history. David’s reputation as both a historian and as a broadcaster is second to none and the prospect of working with him on this riveting project was irresistible."
Olusoga is a British-Nigerian historian, broadcaster and award-winning filmmaker, who studied history and journalism before joining the BBC. He co-authored The Kaiser’s Holocaust: Germany’s Forgotten Genocide and The Colonial Roots of Nazism (Faber & Faber, 2011) and authored The World's War (Head of Zeus, 2014). He was also a contributor to OUP Oxford's The Oxford Companion to Black British History.
He added: "To me black history is everyone’s history. It's the long, often tragic and always surprising story of Britain’s relationship with Africa and her peoples, both here in Britain but also in Africa and across the Caribbean and North America, and most of it is little known. It’s a a major part of the story of us all."
The book will be published in autumn 2016, when the television series is due to be broadcast on BBC Two.