October was Black History Month in the UK and to follow on from this during November, the BBC has launched the Black And British Season while Film 4 has started a Black Cinema season, celebrating the work of black artists both in front of and behind the camera.
The BBC’s Black And British season of programming, across radio, television and online, celebrates the achievements of black people in the UK and explores the rich culture and history of black Britain. According to the BBC the season features “bold, vibrant and provocative stories, overturning preconceptions and challenging orthodoxies. The season will also cast a fresh light on our history, examining the contribution and impact of black people in the UK, as well as interrogating just what it means to be black and British today.”
Here is a selection of some of the best progammes, films and resources available:
Black and British: A Forgotten History BBC2, 9 November 9pm
In this 4 part documentary, Historian David Olusoga explores almost forgotten stories of generations of people with African descent in Britain. This week he begins in Cumbria where a unit of African Roman soldiers were garrisoned in the 3rd Centruy AD. Clips from the series are also available on the webpage.
Black is the New Black BBC2, 9 November 10pm
A new four part series in which prominent figures from politics, business sport and culture share insights on what is like to be black and British today.
Damilola Our Loved Baby BBC,1 7 November 8.30pm
From the BBC Media Centre.” Gripping, feature-length drama that tells the true story of the family of Damilola Taylor, going beyond the headlines to reveal a surprising and affecting portrait of family, fatherhood, loss and love.”
Roots, Reggae, Rebellion BBC4, 11 November 10pm
British rapper, poet and political commentator Akala tells the story of roots reggae in the 1970’s.
Black is a Dirty Word available on BBC iPlayer Radio
Hour long documentary in which Radio 1Extra DJ Seani B presents a provocative look at the British experience in 2016 focusing on everyday life and the challenges faced by young black British people.
Black Nurses: The Women Who Saved the NHS BBC4, 24 November 9pm
Documentary revealing the untold story of how thousands of Caribbean women answered the call from ‘the Mother Country’ to come and help build Britain’s National Health Service. These stories are told by the women themselves and never seen before archive.
The BBC has a dedicated webpage with links to interview clips from the BBC 1 Extra and featuring artists such as Labyrinth and Jazzie B.
“To tie-in with the launch of the BFI’s Black Star season, Film4 presents a celebration of black filmmaking talent both in front of and behind the camera”
Films to be shown include:
Twelve Years a Slave (2013) Film4, 10 November 9pm
Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning film telling the incredible true story of a man kidnapped into slavery and his fight for survival and freedom.
Gone too Far (2013) Film4, 9 November 1.50pm
Thoughtful British comedy drama that “sidesteps the broad tropes that often saddle so called ‘urban movies’.
Second Coming (2014) Film4, 10 November 1.35am
Fearless family drama directed by BAFTA award winning director and playwright Debbie Green.
In the Shadow of Mary Seacole available on ITV Player
David Harewood embarks on a personal three-year journey across Britain, Jamaica and Crimea following the creation of a major new statue of Mary Seacole.
Black History Month Website