As parts of the British population celebrate King Charles’ coronation, many subjects will be actively avoiding it – which is why we’re highlighting some ugly truths in these nonfiction books. There are several reasons why it’s important to know the truth about the brutality of the British Empire. For one, it’s crucial we acknowledge the past injustices and atrocities committed by the British Empire as a step towards reconciliation and healing. Ignoring or denying the brutal realities of the Empire’s rule perpetuates historical injustice and can hinder progress towards a more equitable future.
Not to mention, understanding the legacies of the British Empire and its impact on former colonies helps us understand current global power dynamics. The exploitation, violence, and inequality created by colonialism continue to shape our world today. By acknowledging the brutal realities of it, we can challenge the colonial narratives that have dominated history books for generations. This can help create a more nuanced and accurate understanding of history, which is essential for creating a more just and equitable world.
After all, the legacy of colonialism continues to contribute to systemic racism and inequality in many parts of the world. By understanding the impact of the British Empire on former colonies, we can better address systemic racism and work towards creating a more just and equitable society. Understanding the brutal realities of the British Empire can promote empathy and understanding towards those who have been impacted by colonialism. This can help build bridges between different communities and foster greater understanding and compassion.
Anti-Coronation Day books:
Hence are some books that show the reality and the horrors of the British Empire:
- 📚 Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala. Natives explores the intersections of race, class, and imperialism through Akala’s personal experiences and historical analysis.
- 📚 EmpireLand by Sathnam Sanghera. EmpireLand examines Britain’s colonial past and its impact on modern-day society
- 📚 Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent by Priyamvada Gopal. Insurgent Empire traces the history of anticolonial resistance movements and their impact on British dissent.
- 📚 Stolen History: The truth about the British Empire and how it shaped us by Sathnam Sanghera. An accessible, engaging and essential introduction to the British empire for readers aged 9+, by bestselling author of Empireland.
- 📚 Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins. Legacy of Violence exposes the systematic use of violence by the British Empire and its lasting consequences.
- 📚 Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga. Black and British tells the story of black people in Britain, from Roman times to the present day. It shows a long-lasting history that has often been wiped out.
- 📚 These Bodies of Water: Notes on the British Empire, the Middle East and Where We Meet by Sabrina Mahfouz. These Bodies of Water investigates this history through the Middle Eastern coastlines and waterways that were so vital to the Empire’s hold.
- 📚 Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India by Shashi Tharoor. The book exposes the brutal exploitation of India by the British Empire and its consequences.
- 📚 The Windrush Betrayal: Exposing the Hostile Environment by Amelia Gentleman. The Windrush Betrayal exposes the impact of the UK government’s “hostile environment” policy on the Windrush generation.
- 📚 Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya by Caroline Elkins. Britain’s Gulag exposes the brutal tactics used by the British to suppress the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya.
At a time where many people will be marking the coronation, it’s also important to remember this history seen in these books so that we can learn from it and avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future. Check out These Bodies of Water author Sabrina Mahfouz’s take on the importance of learning accurate history.