A NEW book on ethnic diversity in Welsh language communities has been published.

History of the Welsh: Ethnic Minorities in Welsh-language civilization, was published on Thursday by the University of Wales Press.

In it, the writer and academic, Dr Simon Brooks of Swansea University looks at the stories of different communites as lived through the Welsh language.

Simon Brooks said: “I’m very glad to have had this opportunity to write this book. I hope it makes a contribution to the study of ethnic diversity and multiculturalism in Wales.

“I began the research for the book some fifteen years ago, but multiculturalism has been important to me since the 1980s when I was growing up in a Welsh-speaking family in London.

“In terms of its core arguments, the book has two main themes. Firstly, the history of ethnic diversity in the Welsh-language community is told for the first time.

"This is a story that is as old as the Welsh nation itself. It includes many ethnic minority groups including black people in Wales, Roma, the Irish and the Jewish community.”


The book provides a unique look at often untold stories from within Wales and the Welsh langauge.

He added: “The book also offers a new analysis of multiculturalism and multi-ethnic societies from a Welsh-language point of view. The book asks what is different about multiculturalism in language groups which are themselves minority communities.

“Recently there has been increased interest in ethnic minority history but comparatively little has been published in Welsh. Hanes Cymry is a book of over 500 pages, and I have attempted to write a comprehensive history that breaks new ground in the field.”

Early praise has already been forthcoming for Dr Brooks’ “magnum opus” after it hit the book shops last week.

Former Ceredigion MP, Cynog Dafis, said: “With intelligence, encyclopedic knowledge and sharp analysis, Simon Brooks cuts through cliches like a knife through butter. The aim of this pioneering magnum opus is to promote and encourage a multi-ethnic Welsh-speaking community. Amen and amen to that.

Cultural critic, Professor Daniel G. Williams: “As Simon Brooks suggests in this essential volume, Welsh-language “multiculturalism” does not precisely correspond to “multiculturalism” as expressed in the English-speaking community.

"In a series of brilliant analyses, Hanes Cymry researches the internal difference of Welsh-speaking Wales across the centuries, whilst also arguing for the right of minority communities to develop their own forms of multiculturalism."

  • This article originally appeared on our sister site The National.