An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B.C. Merriman-Labor

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2019 HPBA medallion

In 1904, West African writer A.B.C. Merriman-Labor moved to London in 1904 to make his mark on the world’s greatest literary stage.

What happened there changed everything he thought he knew.

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In a world dominated by the British Empire, at a time when many Europeans considered black people inferior, African writer A. B. C. Merriman-Labor claimed his right to describe the world as he found it. He looked at the greatest city in the greatest empire the world had ever known and laughed. An African in Imperial London is the first biography of this forgotten pioneer of African literature and a rich portrait of a great metropolis, writhing its way into a new century of appalling social inequity, world-transforming inventions, and unprecedented demands for civil rights.


Praise for An African in Imperial London

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

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

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

David Killingray

University of London

A brilliant biography.

Jacqueline Mulhallen

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