Jimi Famurewa


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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
6 July 2023
ISBN: 9781472991560
320 pages

From the publisher

Settlers is a testament to Jimi Famurewa's love not just for his lineage, but for the culture. An incisive, intimate and profound work. - Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie and People Person

As thrilling as it is touching and revealing - this book is an indispensable map to London today. - Ben Judah, Journalist and author of This is London: Life and Death in the World City

Jimi brings modern black London alive like no other author. This feels like an important book that is also a total pleasure to read. - Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland: How Modern Britain is Shaped by its Imperial Past

The past, present and future of being Black, African and British in the capital.

This is a story that begins with post-1960s arrivals from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Somalia. Today their descendants have unleashed a tidal wave of British creativity from Lambeth to Lagos, Islington to the Ivory Coast. Jimi Famurewa writes with humour, style and sensitivity about the extraordinary world of Black African London. He also uncovers a history of racial discrimination, examines the legacy of transracial private fostering, and reveals the friction between family customs and the stresses of modern life. Part memoir, part history, part journalism, this is an essential, hopeful, vivid portrait of modern Britain.


What makes a Londoner? What is it to be Black, African and British? And how can we understand the many tangled roots of our modern nation without knowing the story of how it came to be?

Daniel Kaluuya and Skepta; John Boyega and Little Simz; Edward Enninful and Bukayo Saka – everywhere you look, across the fields of sport, business, fashion, the arts and beyond, there are the descendants of Black African families that were governed by many of the same immutable, shared traditions.

In this book Jimi Famurewa, a British-Nigerian journalist, journeys into the hidden yet vibrant world of African London. Seeking to understand the ties that bind Black African Londoners together and link them with their home countries, he visits their places of worship, roams around markets and restaurants, attends a traditional Nigerian engagement ceremony, shadows them on their morning journeys to far-flung grammar schools and listens to stories from shopkeepers and activists, artists and politicians.

But this isn't just the story of energetic, ambitious Londoners. Jimi also uncovers a darker side, of racial discrimination between White and Black communities and, between Black Africans and Afro-Caribbeans. He investigates the troublesome practice of 'farming' in which young Black Nigerians were sent to live with White British foster parents, examines historic interaction with the police, and reveals the friction between traditional Black African customs and the stresses of modern life in diaspora. This is a vivid new portrait of London, and of modern Britain.