Stephen Bourne

stephen bourne

Aunt Esther’s Story

by Stephen Bourne and Esther Bruce

Hammersmith and Fulham Ethnic Communities Oral History Project. (1996)

The story of Stephen’s adopted aunt, a Black Londoner born before the First World War.

"You’ll find the reading of this book a very moving experience. It makes a genuine contribution to the history of unsung heroes of this country."(Family Tree Magazine)

"A personal yet archetypal chapter in the history of working-class London, one which is usually overlooked...It should inspire young people to explore the thoughts and observations of an older generation of family and friends, thus discovering shared experiences throughout our multi-racial, culturally diverse metropolis." (City Limits)

"Many people would like to pretend that black communities did not exist in Britain before the ‘alien wedge’ immigrations of the 1950s. Aunt Esther’s story cheerfully gives the lie to that pretence." (Gay Times)

"Poignantly and simply told…The book is a captivating documentation of a life rich in experiences." (The Voice)

"Aunt Esther’s Story is a reminder that Black people have been in this country and part of our culture for a very long time." (Feminist Arts News)

"Inspirational and enlightening…Anecdotal in style and engaging from cover to cover, Bourne’s mini-biography format is a template that other African-Caribbean historians would do well to follow. Focussing on everyday realism, rather than needless sensationalism, Stephen Bourne’s book gets to the heart of the matter: black people are and have been an integral part of British history for centuries." (Caribbean Times)

"Thank you so much for sending me Aunt Esther’s Story. I think it is absolutely terrific. You have achieved a style that is absolutely pure and direct; and succeeded in the almost impossible – eradicating any "literary" taint. I think you should do a lot of writing while you have this beautiful, uncomplicated style. Believe me – always heed the words of an older man." (David Robinson, letter to the author)

Out of print