Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Virginia Commonwealth University
Website URL
British Monarchy, Royal Family, Race, Slavery, Sexuality, Gender, Atlantic World, British Empire, Caribbean, Abolition, Colonialism, Reparations
Additional Contact Information
Represented by Alia Hanna Habib at The Gernert Company

Personal Info

About Me

Brooke Newman is an Associate Professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is a historian of Britain and the British Atlantic, with a research specialization in the history and legacies of slavery. She’s the author of A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica (Yale University Press, 2018), which was a finalist for the 2019 Frederick Douglass Book Prize awarded by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. A Dark Inheritance also received the Gold Medal for World History in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards and was named an Outstanding Academic Title and a Choice Magazine editors’ pick.  She is the co-editor of Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas (University of Nebraska Press, 2014) and author of multiple articles and essays focused on slavery in the colonial Caribbean.

Dr. Newman’s current work in progress, The Queen’s Silence: The Hidden History of the British Monarchy and Slavery, is under contract with Mariner (US) and Mudlark (UK), imprints of Harper Collins. THE QUEEN’S SILENCE chronicles the evolving policies and attitudes of the British Crown and members of the royal family toward the transatlantic slave trade, African slavery, and race, from the mid-16th century through the present day. Her writing and/or research has been featured in a wide range of media outlets, including i-newsDer SpiegelSlate, Yahoo News, Smithsonian Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Richmond Times DispatchTime, Vox, NPR, the BBC, the  Washington Post, and Scalawag Magazine.  Her research on the royal family’s connections to the slave trade was featured in a Sky News documentary, “The Royal Family’s Links to Slavery, Colonialism and Race”; “Royally Flush,” a two-part episode on the Audie-award nominated history Podcast, Human Resources; and Vox’s Now This.

Most recently, she served as historical consultant for HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for an episode on the Monarchy (aired 11/13/22) and is currently advising The Guardian on a special investigation into the historic ties between the Crown and the transatlantic slave trade.

Recent Publications

“The Royal Family Should Apologise for their Links to Slavery.” i-news. July 29, 2022.

“The Best Books on Britain and Atlantic Slavery.” Shepherd. November 1, 2021.

“The Queen’s Silence: Racism, White Supremacy and the British Monarchy,” Der Spiegel, March 12, 2021.

“Sexual Intermixture, Blood Lineage, and Legal Disabilities in Eighteenth-Century Jamaica and the British Atlantic,” in The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism, ed. Dagmar Herzog and Chelsea Schields (May 2021).

“‘The Case of Polly Indian’: Enslavement, Native Ancestry, and the Law in the British Caribbean,” in The Routledge Companion to Indigenous Global History, ed. Ann McGrath and Lynette Russell (September 2021).

“The British monarchy needs to make amends for centuries of profiting from slavery,Slate, July 28, 2020.

“Blood Fictions, Maternal Inheritance, and the Legacies of Colonial Slavery,” Women Studies Quarterly 48, no. 1 & 2 (spring/summer 2020): 27-44.

“The White Nostalgia Fueling the ‘Little Mermaid’ Backlash,” The Washington Post. July 8, 2019.

“Uncovering Royal Perspectives on Slavery, Empire, and the Rights of Colonial Subjects,” Georgian Papers Programme, January 21, 2019.

“The Long history Behind the Racist Attacks on Serena Williams,” The Washington Post, September 11, 2018.

A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018.

“Interracial Marriage in the Atlantic World,” in Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Historical Perspective: Slavery Over the Centuries,” in Human Trafficking: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. Mary C. Burke. New York: Routledge, 2018. 2ndedition. pp. 25-48.

“Who Gets to Legislate Heritage in Virginia?” Scalawag Magazine. March 2, 2017.

“Legislators Rewrite Virginia’s History, Overstating its ‘Christian Heritage.’” The Washington Post. February 12, 2017.

Co-editor with Gregory D. Smithers, Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014.

“Identity Articulated: British Settlers, Black Caribs, and the Politics of Indigenous Identity on St. Vincent, 1763-1797,” in Native Diasporas: Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Identities in the Americas, ed. Gregory D. Smithers and Brooke N. Newman. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014. pp. 109-49.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Britain, British Atlantic, British Caribbean, British Empire, Jamaica
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, British Isles, Caribbean, England, United Kingdom, United States
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern, Modern
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Emancipation, Gender, Indigenous Peoples, Labor, Law, Politics, Race, Rebellion & Revolution, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Slavery, Women