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Black Randall

As the American colonies whisper of liberty and revolution a young slave boy, John Randall, listens. And when the country hurtles into war, he seizes his chance, escaping to fight for the English and his freedom.

John’s flight leads him across oceans: poverty and petty crime in the grey slums of Manchester; the rotting prison hulks on the Thames, and finally as a convict to a new penal colony on the other side of the world – a vast, unknown land later to be called Australia.

John yearns for freedom, but can a man so brutalised by war, grief, trauma and racism ever really be free?

Jo Braithwaite, a direct descendant of John Randall, explores this question in what is an evocative and moving reimagining of an extraordinary life.

Black Randall tells the previously untold story of one the few Black convicts brought to the penal colony of New South Wales on the First Fleet, putting lie to the notion that Australia was ‘settled’ by only white people.

Black Randall

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