Wednesday, 16 November 2016

The BBC is running a Black and British season? Why did nobody mention this???

October was Black History Month. This month, the BBC is running a Black & British season. Here's Jay Davidson, Assistant Commissioner, BBC Two and BBC Four, explaining what it's all about:
So, why a Black and British season?
Regardless of your race, face or place, it’s a season that should be of interest to all of us. But you don't need a geneticist to break down how our blood, sweat, tears, and DNA created Britain together.  As I hope the season demonstrates it’s a historical fact, and nothing will ever replace, or erase that.
Black and British will be an uplifting yet poignant season that will ask tough questions and stimulate debate.
It's about truth. It's about perspective. It's about legacy. And it's about time.
Now let’s begin.
Oh, yes please! Here is a partial list of BBC programmes and online items for the past month (beginning 16th October) which I found by putting the word "black" into the BBC Online search box and filtering out items about the Black Country, black pudding and Black Sabbath. Even excluding almost all hard news stories, it still represents an extraordinary amount of content. But, then, rewiring licence-payers' brains in order to correct their mistaken attitudes is a huge task. While I doubt if any of this avalanche of propaganda is doing much to change the way black or white Britons feel about things (because this is a racist country full of racists - Brexit proves that, obvs), it will be making an enormous number of BBC employees feel incredibly good about themselves - so it's money well spent, I reckon:

15 great black Britons who made history (Online)

Why a black child is 12 times less likely to become PM (Online)

1Xtra Talk - Black and British Season: Being Black in Britain (Radio One Extra)

Black Studies: A new degree course at Birmingham City University is the first in Europe (Online video report)

Black and British: A Forgotten History: Moral Mission (BBC Two)

David Harewood: Will Britain ever have a black prime minister? (BBC Two)

Black Nurses: The Women Who Saved the NHS (BBC Four)

Black Power: America's Armed Resistance (BBC Three)

Free Thinking: Black British History (Radio 3)

Why are black men prone to prostate cancer? (Online)

American High School: Straight Outta Orangeburg: 'The World is Not Black' (BBC Three)

Moments that made Britain's black stars (Online)

The Exchange: Is it OK to borrow from black culture? (Radio 1)

Later... with Jools Holland: Sound of Black Britain: Groove & Grime (BBC Two)

Newsbeat Documentaries: That Black British Feeling (Radio 1)

Talking Pictures: The Black Stars of Film (BBC Two)

This World: Unarmed Black Male (BBC Two)

Black is the New Black: Episode 1 (BBC Two) - "exceptional figures" talk about being "Black and British"

Black is the New Black: Episode 2 (BBC Two)

Scotland's Black History: It Wisnae Us (BBC Radio Scotland) - bet it wis!

Newsday: President Obama's Black America (World Service)

Black and voting for Donald Trump (Online)

1Xtra Talk - Black and British Season: Identity and Culture (Radio 1Xtra)

In Tune: Black And British special live from Maida Vale (Radio 3)

Shirley Chisholm - first black woman to run for US president (Online)

Brixton station's 'first' black history statues listed (Online)

How do you find hidden stories from Britain's black history? (Online)

US kids hopes for future between black community and police (Newsround)

Scotland's Black History: Black Blood, White Skin (BBC Radio Scotland)

Witness: A Black GI in China (World Service)

That black British feeling: Does the UK need Black Lives Matter? (Newsbeat)

Man 'stopped and searched because he is black' (Online)

Jamz Supernova: Black and Conscious (BBC Radio 1Xtra)

Scotland's Black History: Bringing It All Back Home (BBC Radio Scotland)

How Idris Elba changed my life (Six celebrities reveal their black British heroes) (Online)

Manny Masih: Diwali and Black History Month  (Local radio)

Black Is a Dirty Word (Radio 1Xtra)

Black kids talk about how they feel towards the US police (Newsround)

Dotun Adebayo: Black British music (Local radio)

Black History Month row over Zayn Malik image (Online)

Sound of Cinema: Black British cinema (Radio 3)

Nesta McGregor investigates what’s behind the Black Lives Matter protests across Britain (Newsbeat)

Dotun Adebayo: Black Lives Matter (Local radio)

Young, Gifted and Classical: The Making of a Maestro (first black winner BBC Young Musician) (BBC Four)

Get It On... With Bryan Burnett: Black History Month (BBC Radio Scotland)

Kevin Philemon and Primrose Granville: Black Actors (why so few in British films) (Local radio)

GCHQ: Minority Report (why so few black spies) (BBC Radio 4)

New York police officer kills mentally ill black woman (Web) - strangely, I could find no reports of blacks killing whites or blacks killing blacks

The Jazz House: Black History Month (BBC Radio Scotland)

Jamz Supernova: Black History Month Special with Ray BLK, Kojey Radical and Gal Dem (Radio 1Xtra)

Edward Adoo: 'Media not doing enough to promote Black history month' (!) (Local radio)

Edward Adoo: Remembrance day…Ed finds out about Afro-Caribbean contributions to past and present British war… (Local radio)

Classical music 'excludes' composers from minorities (Online)

Vine star recreates Black Lives Matter shootings for Mannequin Challenge (Newsbeat) - no, not a bloody clue.

The thing that was worrying me was - where's Sir Lenny Henry in all this? But then I dug a bit deeper and discovered that he features in at least two of the programmes. Looks like the BBC Director-General, Lord Hall, won't have to clear his diary in order to be shouted at in person by a large, angry, black, Brummagem Social Justice Warrior after all. Phew!

Remember, if you've missed all of this, and were unaware that October was Black History Month or that the BBC has mounted a Black & British season, you can catch most of the programmes listed above on BBC iPlayer. Go on - you know you want to!


  1. You know, instead I think I shall just blackball the BBC.

    Um... am I still allowed to use that word?

    Some people get upset when you say 'BBC'.

    1. Please put *TRIGGER WARNING* in front of those three letters. GCooper - many of my readers are politically conservative. I trust you're enjoying Marcus Brigstocke's Radio 4 show, The Brig Society? I can't listen, because it just makes me laugh so much. I'm surprised they don't offer more of this brand of sneering, metropolitan elite humour. And I'm really missing Rich Hall's hilarious, even-handed assessments of the US election - but, astonishingly, the BBC seems to have found plenty of American leftists to take his place!