New Beacon Books: Britain’s first Black bookshop

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A post by Peter Jordens.

New Beacon Books is a British bookshop that specializes in Black British, Caribbean, African, African-American and Asian literature. Founded in 1966 by John La Rose (Trinidad and Tobago, 1927-2006) and Sarah White, it was Britain’s first Black publishing house and bookshop. It was named after The Beacon magazine, a cultural publication from 1930s Trinidad and Tobago. Source:

VIDEO: Black Books – The Story of Britain’s First Black Bookshop

This film, in which Arwa Aburawa interviews Sarah White, delves into the radical history of New Beacon Books. While creating a much needed space for Black communities to access and publish their own literature, it helped support important campaigns such as the Caribbean Artists Movement and the Black Parents Movement, and played a pivotal role in the historic Black Peoples Day of Action. New Beacon Books is widely recognized as having played an important role in Black British culture generally. Decades on, New Beacon Books is still a functioning bookshop, old-fashioned and independent, but in a world of Amazon and Kindles can it survive?

Also see the online publication, New Beacon Books – The Pioneering Years, by Ruth Bush, at

New Beacon Books

76 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, N4 3EN London, England (UK)

T ++ 020 7272 4889

F ++ 020 7281 4662

Open Monday to Saturday from 10.30 am to 6.00 pm.

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