Portraits of public and private lives against the shifting social climate of 20th century Britain.
Black communities, like many minority groups, have long been ill-served by a mainstream British media accustomed to reflecting predominantly white, middle-class lives - a problem entrenched in the second half of the 20th century with the rise of television. Yet a rich tapestry of work from across the boundaries of fiction and non-fiction, film and TV, made for (though not always by) black people, does exist. This selection contains many surprises – some joyous, some sobering, some heartbreaking – and highlights the often painfully slow progress in addressing negative representations and stereotypes on screen. Impassioned and sometimes violent dispatches from the front line in the fight for racial equality can be found here, but so too can records of progress: in the pioneers breaking new ground in culture, politics and sport, and in the more mundane glimpses of everyday life. And this story is not just London’s story: the selection takes a journey around Britain, to a Nigerian wedding in 1960s Cornwall, an ‘African village’ in Essex and a Caribbean restaurant opening in West Bromwich; Newcastle, meanwhile, plays host to not one but two black luminaries, Martin Luther King and Muhammed Ali.
Burning Cross Race Attack
Non-Fiction19655 mins Location: Handsworth
A stark reminder from Handsworth of the intolerance and hatred that darkened the streets of 1960s Britain.
13 November 1967: Martin Luther King Interview
News19672 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A rare interview with Dr Martin Luther King casts fresh light on black British broadcast history.
Tiger Bay and The Rainbow Club - I
Home movie196039 minsSilent Location: Butetown
Tiger Bay in Cardiff's docks area: a successful, multi-cultural community, providing a variety of activities, but which is threatened by 'slum' clearance.
Black Theatre of Britain
Interesting doc following the Black Theatre of Brixton, which produced more black plays in two years than the whole of English theatre had in the previous twenty-five.
Alexandra Park Pageant, 27 June 1970
Amateur film19708 minsSilent Location: Moss Side
The beginning of a Mancunian tradition - could this be the first Moss Side Carnival?
Black Special Constable
Non-Fiction19642 mins Location: Gloucestershire
In Gloucester in January 1964, Astley Lloyd Blair makes history by becoming the first black special constable in Britain.
Vox Pops on Black Police Officers
Black police officers? What a ridiculous idea! Attitudes from England's colonial past linger on in the Midlands of the 1960s.
Suffolk RDC turn down housing for migrants
News19653 mins Location: Mildenhall
In an age when using the term ‘coloured’ was deemed acceptable, Anglia TV ask Councillors in Mildenhall why it is considered a problem to house migrants in the overspill town.
Documentary198118 mins Location: Notting Hill
West London echoes to the sound of reggae and steel pans in this kaleidoscopic record of the 1980 Notting Hill Carnival.
Out and About
Non-Fiction197914 mins Location: Leeds
Sandwiched between two typical native spectacles, the flower show and performing animals, the Leeds Carnival brings forth all the rhythms and exuberance of the Caribbean.
Springtime in an English Village
Documentary19447 mins Location: Stanion
An extraordinary and unexpected snapshot of rural life in wartime in which a young black girl is crowned Queen of the May.
London Line No. 113
Cinemagazine196614 mins Location: Sevenoaks
If your interests happen to include rainwear, concrete in Africa, science in Sevenoaks, and gbedu drum music, then this is your lucky day...
London Line No. 373
Cinemagazine197115 minsSilent Location: Westminster
A Ghanaian fashion student and a Nigerian squash player are among the Africans making a life in 70s Britain in this edition of the magazine show.
Non-Fiction19777 mins Location: Wednesfield
Despite having to work in an office for a living, Wolverhampton's Tessa Sanderson is tipped to be the greatest javelin thrower ever.
Afro Housing Self Build Scheme
Non-Fiction19746 mins Location: Small Heath
New houses for a new future? A self build housing project for Afro Caribbeans is introduced in Birmingham.
Magazine and Review show19847 mins Location: Wolverhampton
A centre for the "undertones and outcasts". Breaking down cultural and generational barriers at Wolverhampton's first Rastafari centre.
Black to Front
Current affairs197827 mins Location: Brixton
World in Action interviews the residents of Haycroft Road, Brixton as a controversial by-election stokes concerns about race and immigration.
The Jah People
Documentary198122 mins Location: Handsworth
Followers of the Rastafari way of life bring tales of Haile Selassie, Jah and Zion to the streets of inner-city Birmingham.
Muhammad Ali Visit to the North East
News19776 mins Location: Durham Tees Valley Airport
A boxing legend and 'People's Champion', Muhammad Ali makes an extraordinary visit to Tyneside in the 1970s.
Current affairs198013 mins Location: Smethwick
"There's been no active encouragement for black people to participate within the political structure of this country". A bleak picture of the lack of equality in Britain.
Regent of Abyssinia in London
Abyssinian state ministers visit London during Prince Regent Haile Selassie's diplomatic tour of Europe.
Martin Luther King Honorary Degree Ceremony at Newcastle University
Non-Fiction196710 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
A remarkable event the great American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King makes a powerful speech on a unique visit to Newcastle University.
Black Sheriff of Nottingham
Magazine and Review show19898 mins Location: Nottingham
He jokes that he's joined the 'chain gang' but there is more than ceremonial robes for Tony Robinson as Nottingham's first black Sheriff.
Unemployment Crisis for Birmingham West Indian School Leavers
Non-Fiction19769 mins Location: Handsworth
Birmingham's lost black generation: undermined by the racism that's stifling the dynamism of a young workforce.
Foster Mother to Eleven Children
Miss Christie, aged 64, shares her home with eleven foster children, a donkey, three dogs and twelve cats. Anglia TV reports.
African Student Families
Cinemagazine197510 minsSilent Location: Westminster
Cinemagazine London Line looks at the support available in London for African students and their families.
News19764 mins Location: Peterborough
Peterborough's Playbus offers a fun and welcoming space for ethnic minority families to improve their English language skills.
Aklowa African Village, Bishop's Stortford, Essex
News19775 mins Location: Takeley
With workshops and performances, Aklowa village in Essex promotes a greater awareness of the richness of African culture.
Multi-cultural Fortnight in Cambridge
News19784 mins Location: Cambridge
Welcome to the Multicultural Fortnight in Cambridge where children learn to banish cultural stereotypes learned from TV.
Aklowa African Village in Essex
Factual TV19866 mins Location: Takeley
Essex primary schoolchildren share an unforgettable afternoon, living the life of an African villager.
African music at Stewards Comprehensive, Harlow
News19747 mins Location: Harlow
With great enthusiasm, the schoolchildren of Stewards Comp in Harlow are inspired to drum, dance, and sing traditional African music.
Documentary drama197340 mins Location: Stepney
Tired of being hassled by the police and with no job opportunities, a group of teenage East End lads plan to rob a bank.
Men of Two Worlds
Drama1946107 mins Location: Pinewood Film Studios
Handsomely presented drama about a man caught between his privileged Western education and traditional African roots.
Aerial Views of Yorkshire
Non-Fiction197910 minsSilent Location: Leeds
A bird’s eye view of the tower blocks and new roads of 1970s Leeds contrasts nicely with the colourful and exuberant Caribbean Carnival, headed by an intriguingly titled banner.
28 June 1967: Town Moor Hoppings
News19676 mins Location: Town Moor
A rap on rain and rates with Britain’s first black British broadcaster and the travelling showpeople at the Hoppings funfair in Newcastle.