Posted Oct 27

Films and podcasts to commemorate Black History Month in the UK

by Jane Bracher
Films and podcasts to commemorate Black History Month in the UK by Jane Bracher

October is Black History Month in the UK, but the impact of this year’s Black Lives Matter movement has made it clear that the commemoration and education of black history should not be confined to just one month. It must carry on year-round. From here on out, we’ll be sharing more content to continue to amplify the diverse voices in the visual effects and film industry, and to start with, we have put together a list of films, books, and podcasts that focus on the stories of black voices in the UK.



This 2020 drama is part of Steve McQueen's five-film anthology series for the BBC and opened at this year's London Film Festival. Mangrove tells the true story of a group of black activists that clashed with London police during a protest in 1970, and their subsequent highly publicised trial.

The film will be shown on Sunday, 15 November on BBC One and the BBC iPlayer.


A heartwarming coming-of-age story, Rocks follows the story of an East London teenage girl whose mother abandons her and her younger brother, leaving them to survive on their own

The film is currently available on Netflix.

Black and British: A Forgotten History

In this 2016 show, historian David Olusoga traces the history of black people in Britain, going back to their origins in Africa, as well as explores modern Black British identity.

This four-part documentary series is available on the BBC iPlayer.


Black, Listed: Black British Culture Explored

Jeffrey Boakye’s 2019 non-fiction book explores modern-day black identity through the lens of ‘insults, insights and everything in between’. It investigates contemporary black culture and how communities ‘have been represented, oppressed, mimicked, celebrated and othered’.

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire

Written by British rapper Akala, this book explores his own personal experiences with race and identity – including the police, education, and sexual objectification – and puts them in social, historical, and political context.

Girl, Woman, Other

Co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize, Bernardine Evaristo’s novel follows the lives and journeys of 12 characters in the UK across several decades. In each of the four chapters, the focus is on the stories of three women who are directly connected to one another.


The Black Star

This podcast mini-series from the British Film Institute focuses on six black stars in film that left their mark on Hollywood.

Visit the BFI's website to listen.

About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge

In this podcast, the author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race peels back the layers of anti-racist activism in recent history and how that plays into current politics through conversations with people in the movement.

Visit to listen.

The British Empire’s Legacy

This episode from BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time: History podcast looks at the colonial legacy of Britain, re-remembering that past, and the lessons it teaches us now.

The episode is available on Spotify and on the BBC.


To learn more about how you can participate in the movement and educate yourself, you can visit –

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