This article uses Edward Scobie, the Dominican-born journalist and historian, as an entry point for recovering histories of the Black British press and popular history. Examining two commercial Black magazines from the early 1960s, Tropic and Flamingo, it identifies the political utility of Black British history. Reflecting on presentist and populist approaches, this research acknowledges the reparative potential of history. Reconstructing untold and marginalised histories, from abolitionist activists to Black composers, these history features were a direct riposte to the anti-immigrant and racist cultures that were being emboldened by state-driven policy, such as the 1962 Commonwealth Immigrants Act. By focusing on popular magazine histories, this research challenges us to think about what counts as historical scholarship and where it is produced.
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