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Industry Insider – Books About Dead Black People Don’t Sell: The Importance of Telling Black History and Untold Heritage Stories

8 November @ 19:00 - 20:00 GMT

Virtual Event Virtual Event

Creative producer, historian, and author of Black Oxford, the Untold Stories of Oxford University’s Black Scholars (Signal Books, 2013), Pamela Roberts, will discuss her latest book, the biography of James Arthur Harley, 1873 – 1943, The Adventures of a Black Edwardian Intellectual (Signal Books, 2022). 

This online event features a visual presentation about Pamela’s discovery of James Arthur Harley’s archive and her five-year journey to bring his story to life. She will also discuss her work as the founder and director of Black Oxford Untold Stories, celebrating Oxford University’s black scholars from the 20th century to the present day, and why telling black history and untold heritage stories is important. 




  • Welcome, introductions and housekeeping from Sophia A Jackson, SoA Head of Events (5 mins)
  • Presentation from Pamela Roberts (30 mins)
  • Q&A with audience (20 mins)
  • Closing comments from Sophia A Jackson (5 mins)



What will this session cover? 

The session will explore several themes covered in the book.

  • Does colourism still exist and is it relevant in a diverse society?
  • The invisibility of black women – Black women’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement c1900.
  • The outsider within – blacks at elite educational institutions.
  • How has society changed from Harley’s time to now – eg racism, housing, cost of living, politics?


Who is this session for? 

The event will appeal to audiences interested in biography, Antigua, social, African-American, and black British history. 


Send us your questions in advance 

If you would like to send questions for Pamela Roberts in advance, email [email protected]  with ‘Black Edwardian’ in the subject header. We will prioritise questions sent in advance and answer as many as we can from the audience on the day.


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The line-up 


Pamela Roberts – Historian, Writer

Pamela Roberts FRSA, FRHistS is a Creative Producer, Historian, Author and Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow at the British Library. She is also the founder of Black Oxford: Untold Stories™ – celebrating Oxford University’s historical and contemporary Black scholars from the turn of the 20th century to the present day through the delivery of lecture programmes and creative projects. Pamela has written for BBC History magazine and a series of biographical entries for Oxford University Press National Dictionary of Biographies.

Website: www.blackoxford.net | Instagram: @pamelarobertsfrsa | Twitter: @blackoxford   



Need to know 

Before the event

  • Once registered, you will be sent a confirmation email with the Zoom link
  • If the confirmation email doesn’t arrive in your inbox, please check your junk /spam email folder.
  • Please add [email protected] to your Safe Senders list so you receive our confirmation, and reminder emails

During the event

  • This online event will take place on Zoom Webinar; you will not be visible on screen but will be able ask questions via the Q&A function or interact via the chat box
  • This event will be recorded but you won’t be on screen
  • Attendees have the option to turn on the live transcript option
  • This event is 60 minutes.

After the event

  • Hashtag for this event: #SoAatHome
  • You’ll be able to catch the recording on our Vimeo channel



Book your place using the registration form below.

All SoA @ Home industry insider events are free but, if you can afford it, we recommend a minimum £5 donation to the Authors’ Contingency Fund to help us support authors facing financial hardship during the health crisis. DONATE HERE

If you are unable to book using the registration box below, please email [email protected] with the name and date of the event you’d like to register for and we’ll confirm your place.


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With at least 57% of authors facing financial losses during the pandemic, we have helped people struggling financially due to contractual, employment and event cancellations, others who have lost income due to illness, and others prevented from working because of caring responsibilities.

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Our standard subscription rate is just £26.25 per quarter (£18.50 for students).

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8 November
19:00 - 20:00 GMT
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