Celebrating Radical Black Publishing Impact The 40th Anniversary of The First International Bookfair of Radical Black and Third World Books

About this event

Delve into the Huntley Archives at London Metropolitan Archives to explore a series of intergenerational conversations and provocations that bring into the foreground, one of the most incredible initiatives by the international Black community.

The first Bookfair - which took place in March-April 1982, had the aim of being a "meeting of the continents for writers, publishers, distributors, booksellers, artists, musicians, film makers, and the people who inspire and consume their creative productions." CLR James opened the inaugural Bookfair in 1982, with Jessica Huntley (Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications) John La Rose (New Beacon Books) as co-directors of the first festival, collaborating closely with the Race Today Collective and several community groups.

Running for 12 years from 1982-1995, the International Bookfair spoke to generations of migrant and Black communities, here and across the African Diaspora, fuelled by the desire to overcome oppressive and unfair practices, borne out of fascism and racism, the Bookfair - was a festival filled with positive cultural responses that celebrated identity through books, films and theatre, quenched a thirst for knowledge and exploded new creative talent on the scene.

Through sharing first-person stories and reviewing the momentous achievements of the Bookfairs, the 2022 conference offer intergenerational audiences time to revisit, explore and affirm Black freedom struggles in historical and contemporary contexts of creativity, publishing and community activism.

Promising rare Archival footage and films, interactive intergenerational Groundings sessions, speakers include Eric Huntley, Margaret Busby CBE with many more contributors to be announced


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