BBC2 have commissioned an “ambitious” series which will tell A Black History of Britain – and they are describing it as “national event.”
Written and presented by acclaimed historian and broadcaster David Olusoga, A Black History of Britain “aims to overturn the image of black history as a marginal side-bar to mainstream history with new, dramatic and at times shocking chapters from our collective past.”
The four-parter will draw on genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews to reveal how the lives of black and white Britons have been intimately entwined for centuries.
The series will also see over 20 specially designed BBC Black History plaques being unveiled at locations across Britain, former colonies and the Commonwealth. The plaques will record and celebrate people and events that are pivotal to this new history.
“This series will unveil a new type of black British history, because to me black history is everyone’s history,” said Olusoga. “It’s the long, often tragic and always surprising story of Britain’s relationship with Africa and her peoples. It’s a history that takes place here in Britain but also in Africa and across the Caribbean and North America, and most of it is little known. But it’s also the story of those periods in our past when the rights, status and humanity of black people were among the big issues of the day, issues that helped shape the whole country and the empire. I’m really excited about presenting a black history that is a major part of the story of all us.”
“This important series will tell a new story of Britain, bringing to light tales that have never been told before and changing the way we all see our national story,” added BBC2 commissioner Kim Shillinglaw, while Director of Black Cultural Archives Paul Reid, said: “This exciting series will uncover the less-known historical narratives, providing an insight into the Black presence in Britain and documenting the richness of British history.”
A Black History of Britain will air on BBC2 along other yet-to-be-announced programmes along a shared theme.