The Books Published by the GPI

October 19, 2022

Since its establishment over 30 years ago, the George Padmore Institute (GPI) has published books relating to its archive collections. Our publications have been drawn from material in our keeping such as the Caribbean Artists Movement, the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, and the International Book Fairs of Radical Black and Third World Books, which took place in the UK between 1982 and 1995. Most recently, the GPI took a new route and published two books for children, thereby expanding into a new market to promote Black British history, inclusivity and diversity. Both were written and illustrated by award-winning author Ken Wilson-Max and again our archive collections provided the inspiration for the books. For the GPI, preserving and promoting black history is what we do every day, and sales of our books help support this work. For Black History Month, below is a selection of our books currently on sale.

Cover image of the book 'A Beacon of Hope'

Beacon Of Hope: New Beacon in Poetry and Prose

‘New Beacon Books – The Pioneering Years’ by Ruth Bush and ‘Surge’ introduction and poem by Jay Bernard

Published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of New Beacon Books founded as a publishing house in 1966. Contains research by Ruth Bush and creative work by Jay Bernard done under the auspices of the George Padmore Institute. In 2018 Jay Bernard won the Ted Hughes award for new poetry with her performance Surge: Side A, a multimedia sequence, produced by Speaking Volumes Live Literature Events at the Round House, London, in 2017. 2016, 76pp

PRICE: £11 including p+p

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Building Britannia: Life Experience with Britain

A ground-breaking history of the black British post war experience, containing talks by seven diverse black Britons, all pioneers in their own fields. With Dennis Bovell, dub musician; Gus John, education and social justice consultant; Aggrey Burke, psychiatrist; Yvonne Brewster, theatre director and actress; Wilfred Wood, Anglican bishop; Althea McNish, textile designer and painter; Alexis Rennie, engineer. 2009, 294pp, colour images included in Althea McNish’s interview.

PRICE: £16.49 including p+p

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Cover of the book 'The Caribbean Artists Movement 1966-1972'

The Caribbean Artists Movement 1966-1972: a literary and cultural history

Written by Anne Walmsley, this book is a classic history of the major cultural movement of Caribbean writers and artists founded in 1966 by Kamau Brathwaite, Andrew Salkey and John La Rose. The Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) flourished in Britain in the late 1960s, and influenced many later intellectual and artistic developments. Anne Walmsley generously donated all the material she used in the writing of this major book to the GPI archive, including research interviews and transcripts of original recordings of CAM meetings and conferences. 1992, 356pp 8pp colour; b&w illustrations throughout.

PRICE: £20.49 including p+p

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CHILDREN’S BOOK - Dream to Change the World: The Story of John La Rose (5-8-years-old)

Written and illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max. A magical story about the childhood of John La Rose, a tireless activist and co-founder of the GPI. Readers will learn more about John's varied activism, poetry and career through a fascinating timeline at the end of the book. Published as part of a project, Reaching New Generations, funded with a grant from Arts Council England. 2021, 28pp

PRICE: £8 including p+p

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CHILDREN'S BOOK - Jump up! A Story of Carnival (5-8-years-old)

Written and illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max. Jump Up! tells the story of Cecille, a young black girl living in the Caribbean, and how her community develops their very own Carnival, based on their long-remembered African traditions. A section at the end of the story teaches readers more about the history of the subject, as well as interesting words associated with Carnival. Published as part of a project, Reaching New Generations, funded with a grant from Arts Council England. 2022, 28pp

PRICE: £8 including p+p

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The New Cross Massacre Story: interviews with John La Rose. Prologue by Linton Kwesi Johnson and epilogue by Gus John

The New Cross Fire took place on 18 January 1981 at 439 New Cross Road. It claimed the lives of 13 young black people who were enjoying a 16th birthday party. One other partygoer died a year later and 26 of the revellers suffered serious injuries. This is a reprint of the original booklet, published in 1984 by the Alliance of the Black Parents Movement the Black Youth Movement and Race Today Collective. The significance of the period and the event are explored through a prologue by Linton Kwesi Johnson and an epilogue by Gus John. 2011, 80pp

PRICE: £10 including p+p

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The GPI is an independent charity (1003001), it is not associated with any other organisation. We rely on grants, and individual donations to continue to preserve and make available the stories of many black and Asian communities. Please consider making a donation so that we can continue to preserve the stories of black and Asian communities. Please see our Bank Account details above.