In a thought-provoking new children’s history book titled “Brilliant Black British History,” Nigerian-born British author Atinuke presents a bold perspective on the origins of the iconic Stonehenge monument and the historical demographics of Britain. This assertion has sparked discussions and debates across the country.
Atinuke’s book, targeted at children aged seven and above, challenges conventional narratives by proposing that Stonehenge, the ancient neolithic monument located in Wiltshire, was constructed by Black people.
The author goes further to suggest that Britain, for over 7,000 years prior to the arrival of white settlers, was primarily a “Black country,” emphasising the diverse and complex history of the British Isles.
One of the key arguments put forth in the book is that every British person is ultimately descended from migrants, underlining the rich tapestry of ethnicities that have contributed to the nation’s history.
Additionally, Atinuke explores the evolution of the English language, characterising it as a “hodgepodge language” formed through various influences over time.
One intriguing aspect of the book involves the description of the Cheddar Man, Britain’s oldest human remains. Atinuke presents him as “as dark as dark can be,” drawing attention to the potential diversity of ancient populations in Britain. While geneticists, such as Susan Walsh from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, suggest that Cheddar Man likely had dark skin, the science of the time cannot definitively confirm his skin colour.
“Brilliant Black British History” is described as an “eye-opening history of Britain” that aims to shed light on a part of the nation’s past often overlooked in mainstream history books – the rich and diverse Black history of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.
Meeting the first Britons
This publication emerges against a backdrop of growing discussions surrounding race and history in the United Kingdom. It follows a report released by the conservative group Don’t Divide Us, which raised concerns about the inclusion of “anti-racism” theories in children’s education. The book invites readers on a journey through British history to meet the first Britons, black Tudors, Georgians, and Victorians who contributed to the nation’s heritage in various ways.
Atinuke’s claims have ignited a passionate debate, with supporters applauding her efforts to expand historical narratives, while critics question the historical evidence supporting her assertions. As this new book continues to make waves, it is certain to prompt further discussions about the multifaceted history of the United Kingdom.