Aunt Esther's Story – Stephen Bourne

Stephen bourne and his aunt Esther
Stephen bourne and his Aunt Esther

In 1991 Stephen Bourne and his adopted aunt, Esther Bruce (1912-94), collaborated on her autobiography Aunt Esthers Story. This is now recognised as one of the first books to document the life of a Black working-class Londoner.

In 2007 Bourne assisted in the production of a short documentary, also called Aunt Esther’s Story, with no money, in his living-room, using old family photographs and a videotaped interview with Esther.

Following successful screenings at the Tate Modern, Imperial War Museum, Peckham Library and National Portrait Gallery, as well as several film festivals, Bourne has made Aunt Esther’s Story available to view in two parts on You Tube (

Just type Aunt Esther’s Story into the search box.

Later this year Bourne’s 11th book, Mother Country: Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front 1939-1945, will be published by The History Press.

Says playwright and critic Bonnie Greer: “Stephen brings great natural scholarship and passion to a largely hidden story. He is highly accessible, accurate, and surprising. You always walk away from his work knowing something that you didn’t know, that you didn’t even suspect.”

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Stephen Bourne

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