History Women of Colour

The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain

The Heart of the Race: Black
Women’s Lives in Britain
Beverly Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne ScafeVirago1985

This book records what life is like for the Black women in Britain: grandmothers drawn to the promise of the ‘mother country’ in the 1950s talk of a different reality; young girls describe how their aspirations at school are largely ignored; working women tell of their commitments to families, jobs, communities. Along with stories of struggles here is Black women’s celebration of their culture and their struggle to create a new social order in this country.

From Penguin Random House: The Heart of the Race is a powerful corrective to a version of Britain’s history from which black women have long been excluded. It reclaims and records black women’s place in that history, documenting their day-to-day struggles, their experiences of education, work and health care, and the personal and political struggles they have waged to preserve a sense of identity and community. 

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Ties that Bind
1. Labour Pains: Black Women and Work
2. Learning to Resist: Black women and Education
3. The Uncaring Arm of the State: Black Women, Health and the Welfare Services
4. Chain Reactions: Black Women Organising
5. Self-consciousness: Understanding Our Culture and Identity
List of Historical Black Women’s Groups