Our TV picks for Black History Month UK 2021

Updated: Mar 18

Check out a few of our TV recommendations to help you celebrate and learn more about UK Black history, culture and talent.


Sorry, I Didn’t Know, S2

ITV and ITV Hub, Sundays at 10:30pm

Jimmy Akingbola returns as the host of this comedy panel show, for a special five-part series throughout the month. He's joined by team leaders Judi Love and Chizzy Akudolu, as well as a host of special guests including Kojo Anim, Russell Kane, Sikisa, and Stephen K Amos. Each team goes head-to-head test knowledge and come out victorious.


Ashley Banjo: Britain in Black and White

ITV and ITV Hub, 19th October 9:00pm

A year on from winning a BAFTA award for his dance group Diversity's BLM inspired performance. Ashley Banjo explores Britain's relationship with race, opening up about his experiences of racism in the UK, and meeting with British civil rights activists and those who criticised his dance troop's performance on Britain's Got Talent.


will.i.am: The Blackprint

ITV and ITV Hub, 14th October 9:00pm

African-American music producer and rapper, will.i.am explores what it means to be Black and British whilst comparing the experience to that of the USA. He meets members of the UK Black community from school children to trailblazers in technology.


Uprising

Streaming on BBC iplayer

Acclaimed film director Steve McQueen's three-part documentary series focus on three key events in 1981 which significantly impacted race relations in the UK. The New Cross Fire, which killed 13 young British Caribbean people, the Black People's Day of Action, and the Brixton riots. With testimony from those who lived these traumatic and turbulent events, the series reveals how they intertwined and defined race relations for a generation.


Spending Black

Streaming on BBC iplayer until October 2022

Aaron Roach Bridgeman explores the concept of 'spending black' and its impact on the black community and on the businesses themselves. He meets businesses that have benefitted financially and culturally from consumers choosing to “spend black” and utilises the latest data to draw conclusions on who and in which areas people are choosing to “spend black”. Ultimately Aaron questions to what extent this surge in “spending black” will last? Could it really be the hope and tangible change that the young black community is looking for?


Betty Campbell: Statue for a Heroine

Streaming on BBC iplayer until 31st October 2021

Cerys Matthews presents the story of Wales’s first black head teacher, Betty Campbell, and the new statue that will honour her lifetime of remarkable achievements.


Reflections on Race: Three Black Scientists You Need to Know

Streaming on BBC iplayer until September 2021

"These three black scientists didn't only dream of a better future, but had the determination to make it a reality." Space scientist and broadcaster Maggie Aderin-Pocock selects three unsung heroes - one from the past, one from the present, and one up-and-coming - who she thinks deserve wider recognition.


Salt, by Selina Thompson

Streaming on BBC iplayer until October 2022

Performance artist Selina Thompson recreates her award-winning dramatic monologue about a journey she made by cargo ship to retrace the triangular route of the transatlantic slave trade. Poetic and deeply personal, Salt is part testimony, part performance and part excavation of collective memory through archive and music.


Chi-chi Nwanoku on Samuel Colerdige-Taylor

Streaming on Sky TV and Now TV

Chineke! orchestra founder Chi-chi Nwanoku pays tribute to Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the pioneering English composer of Sierra Leonean descent.


Yorkshire Cop: Police, Racism and Me

Streaming on All 4 from 18th October until 11th November 2021

Bill Thomas, the first Black male police officer in South Yorkshire, revisits 40 years of public service: the battles, the racism, and the friendships of a remarkable career


Focusing on black talent....

Peckham's Finest

ITV and ITV hub, launches from 20th October 2021

ITV launches a new reality show set in Peckham during Black History Month UK. Among the cast include social media personality Queen MoJo, Peckham-raised Ghanaian artists the Flag Twins, choreographer and personal trainer Gilly, model Isla Loba, BMXer Tre Whyte and radio host Teeshow.


Big Age

Streaming on All 4

Originally aired as part of Channel 4's Black to Front day on the 10th September 2021. Bolu Babalola's comedy about four young Black-British friends. Sade's 25th birthday gets off to a rocky start when she quits her job. So her best friend prescribes a day of decadent distraction.


Highlife

Streaming on All 4

Originally aired as part of Channel 4's Black to Front day on the 10th September 2021. This reality series follows the lives and loves of a group of ambitious, glamorous, young British West Africans who are all chasing their own idea of success.


I May Destroy You

Streaming on BBC iplayer

Your chance to discover (or rewatch) Michaela Cole's groundbreaking drama about a young writer in the public eye who seeks to rebuild her life after being raped. Cole wrote, co-directed and executive produced the series and was the first Black womon to win an Emmy for best writing in a limited series or anthology.



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