Films in the programme
Miners Leaving Pendlebury Colliery (1901) & Hull Fair (1902)
These rare films from Yorkshire and Lancashire feature two of the earliest representations of black people on screen, remind us that black immigration into Britain did not begin with the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.
For the Wounded (1915) & From Trinidad to Serve the Empire (1916)
During World War One, black men from Britain and across the Empire joined the armed services to fight for the King and "mother country". These are two of very few glimpses of black servicemen in early British newsreels.
Hello! West Indies (1943)
Cricketing legend Learie Constantine, the first black man to sit in the House of Lords, introduces this extract which highlights civilian jobs undertaken by West Indian workers in Britain during World War Two.
Mining Review 2nd Year No. 11 (1949)
American actor and singer Paul Robeson visits Woolmet Colliery near Edinburgh. Robeson had long been something of a hero to the British mining community, ever since he starred in the film The Proud Valley, and was a renowned left-wing political activist. In 1938 he was voted one of the top 10 most popular British film stars.
To the Four Corners (1957)
This extract of rare colour footage of multiracial Cardiff is the obvious highlight of this travelogue of Britain's four nations. Look out for the newsstand promoting local rising star Shirley Bassey, who had only very recently enjoyed her first UK hit single.
Black Special Constable (1964) & Black Police Officers (1966)
In these two television clips from the Midlands, Reg Harcourt investigates attitudes towards what was then a controversial issue: ethnicity within the police force.
Cold Railway Workers (1964)
As temperatures plummeted during the Big Freeze of 1963, local TV reporter visits a group of railway workers in the Midlands to see how they’re coping. All the interviewees are West Indian, and the questions assume that they are unused to cold weather, which might explain some of the droll, monosyllabic responses.
Nigerian Wedding in Cornwall (1964)
The congregation of Trevenson Church near Redruth in Cornwall turns out to celebrate the wedding of these two Nigerian students. Leaving the church in traditional British wedding attire, the happy couple change into national Nigerian dress for the reception party.
Coloured School Leavers (1965)
Recent black school leavers talk about their career ambitions and how racism may prevent them achieving their goals in this extract from current affairs TV programme ‘This Week’.
London Line No. 373 (1971)
Weekly TV programme London Line follows Ghanaian student Barbara, currently in her second year at the London College of Fashion and Clothing Technology, who hopes to 'set the world of fashion alight'.
African Student Families (1975)
A television report investigating the support available for African overseas students, this is also a moving depiction of the work of the Commonwealth Students Children's Society as they explain how their services operate and the different attitudes to fostering among British and African parents.
Liverpool 8 (1972)
This Week visits the Falkner housing estate in Liverpool to investigate recent incidents of racially-motivated violence and tension between communities. In this extract, local black and white youths relate encounters with one another, police discrimination and
Blood Ah Go Run (1982)
This prescient documentary by Menelik Shabazz was made in the aftermath of the New Cross Fire in January 1981, in which thirteen young black people were killed. The bungled police investigation outraged the black community and eventually led to a massive day of action and demonstration that is the subject of this short film.
The Jah People (1981)
Central Television magazine programme Here and Now reports from the Rastafari community in Handsworth. This extract presents interviews with a range of passionate and dedicated members of the religion, revealing a community like many others in
search of roots, self-discovery and a spiritual homeland.
Grove Carnival (1981)
One of the world’s largest street festivals, the Notting Hill Carnival has been taking place annually since 1966. This kaleidoscopic record from the 1980 event invites audiences both into and above the busy streets, taking in the diversity of the crowd and echoing the event’s relaxed yet ecstatic rhythm.