2019 High Plains Book Award for Nonfiction

Until now, the story of this forgotten pioneer of African literature has been a mystery. For the first time, An African in Imperial London describes the tragic spiral that pulled this remarkable man down the social ladder from barrister to munitions worker, from witty observer of the social order to patient in a state-run hospital for the poor.

The book provides an intimate view of London through African eyes as Merriman-Labor navigates streets bustling with millionaires made rich by South African gold mines, suffragettes demanding the vote, and destitute women selling matches to feed their starving children.

An African in Imperial London reveals London as a world of diversity, ingenuity, and struggle–a great read for anyone interested in how life really was in early 20th-century Britain.

An African in Imperial London
Official Book Trailer

SAVE 30% Now

at Oxford University Press

Use code ADISTA5


Marvelously readable!

Corby Skinner

Yellowstone Public Radio

Elegantly written and meticulously researched. This is an important addition to the history of Africans in Britain.

Hakim Adi

University of Chichester

Historical rigour, literary skill and a deep sense of humanity pervades this splendid biography.

David Killingray

University of London

The moving and surprising story of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor.

Edward Mendelson

Columbia University

Written with great verve… an enlightening account of what it meant to be black in the most powerful country in the world.

Peter Stansky

Stanford University

A brilliant biography.

Jacqueline Mulhallen