White Australia has a Black History

September 6, 2019 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Cairns author Barbara Miller has just launched her latest book called White Australia Has A Black History: William Cooper and First Nations Peoples’ Political Activism.

Behind the dominant story is the black history of white Australia as seen through the eyes and life of William Cooper and other First Nations People.

The author writes: “Let me introduce you to William Cooper, a pioneer of the Aboriginal movement for basic human rights who shaped Australia’s political activism.

How much do you really know about William Cooper? He was a leader in political activism for basic human rights who stood up for Australian Aborigines. He also led Aborigines in a protest march to the German Consulate in Melbourne against the persecution of Jews at Kristallnacht in 1938.

But Cooper’s contribution to Australia does not stop there. In this eye-opening political memoir or biography, you will learn William Cooper’s story from the very beginning and gain an in-depth understanding of his everlasting influence on future political activism.”

Ms Miller was a finalist in the Qld Literary Awards last year for the Qld Premier’s Award for a Work of State Significance, the main prize. It was for her memoir, White Woman Black Heart: Journey Home to Old Mapoon.

Barbara and Munganbana Norman Miller

Her current book is an update on her 2012 book William Cooper Gentle Warrior: Standing Up for Australian Aborigines and Persecuted Jews which is increasingly being used as an educational resource in schools. As the original work was already large, the update has occasioned two books, the first focusing on Cooper’s First Nations activism and the second on his support of Jewish people. The author hopes to have the latter finished for the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the start of the Holocaust, which Cooper protested against in 1938.

The title White Australia Has A Black History is a provocative title, being a theme of Indigenous protest in the Bicentenary commemorations in 1988, the 200thanniversary of white settlement. If you want to understand Australia’s history in relation to its Indigenous people, this is the book to read. If you love biography and want to know how people overcome difficulties, then this book will inspire you.


One Response to “White Australia has a Black History”
  1. Helen Green says:

    I commend Barbara’s books… she has a unique way of delving into Australian history and bringing insights to see these injustices especially from the eyes of how it affects our indigenous folk. Barbara Miller’s new book -‘ White Australia has a black history: William Cooper and First Nation’s People’s Political Activism’ is a stimulating book in understanding our sad history. It is easy to read…A real must for our era!

    Helen Green

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