John Lewis: Good Trouble TV - Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution TV - 400 Years of Taking the Knee TV - Tonight TV - Why is Covid Killing People of Colour? TV - Black Power: A British Story of Resistance TV - The Black American Fight for Freedom TV - Subnormal: A British Scandal TV - Uprising TV - Michael X: Hustler, Revolutionary, Outlaw TV - Huey Newton - Adam Curtis TV - Tony Robinson TV - Uprising TV - Elijah Muhammad - Lenny Henry TV - Britain's Secret War Babies TV - Dispatches TV -
I feel lucky and blessed that I’m serving in the Congress but there are forces today trying to take us back to another time and another dark period. John Lewis: Good Trouble, Sky Documentaries 2020
His voice and his example are probably needed now as much as they’ve ever been. ibid. Hillary Clinton
Arrest us if we’re wrong, don’t beat us. ibid. Selma protester
As we crossed the bridge we saw a sea of blue – Alabama state troopers. ibid. Lewis
I hated this system telling people you cannot be seated at a lunch counter, you cannot go into a restaurant simply because of the colour of your skin. ibid.
We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering with our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. Martin Luther King, essay Loving Your Enemies
Within a matter of weeks, freedom riders are boarding buses all over the South. The riders are harassed and jailed, sometimes they are beaten by angry crowds of whites while southern sheriffs look the other way. ibid.
I came across a book called Black Heroes of the American Revolution and was stunned to learn that African-Americans [and Native Americans] played a crucial part in our country’s fight for independence. What I learned changed my life and my sense of heritage. It’s a story every American should know: it’s a story of black patriots. Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution, Kareem Aldul-Jabbar reporting, History 2020
In 1770 in colonial America revolution is in the air. But this idea of independence is very different depending on the colour of your skin. One-fifth of the population is of African descent and slavery is a way of life in all thirteen colonies. Our black patriots begin this story in bondage; by War’s end they will have new identities in the new nation. ibid.
The black loyalists fighting for the British are making a significant impact on the War … A truly integrated unit: the first Rhode Island regiment is born … With roughly 140 black men now in the unit, their first taste of action is the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. Covering the retreat of six American brigades, they courageously withstand three ferocious British assaults, saving the day … Other colonies followed suit. ibid.
Colonel Tye becomes one of the thousands of blacks killed in the American revolution. ibid.
Another black patriot will emerge as clever as he is courageous to help decide the day … when an enslaved man named James Armistead Lafayett made his mark. ibid.
People all over the world take the knee. But for centuries black resistant to oppression has taken many forms: when the Quarterback Colin Kaepernick first took the knee in 2016, during the national anthem at an NFL game, there was a huge backlash. Ultimately, this act of defiance cost him his livelihood. In the years since, taking the knee has become a powerful symbol of resistance. 400 Years of Taking the Knee I, Dotun Adebayo narrator, History 2020
Queen Nanny – Granny Nanny – aka Granny of the Maroons, is Jamaica’s original national hero. Her face adorns the country’s $500 bill, recording thee story of a freedom fighter who stood up to the might of the British people to win freedom for her enslaved people. ibid.
Toussaint Louverture, St Dominique: emerged as the rebellion’s national leader … and abolished slavery from Hispaniola for ever … Bonaparte’s army suffered huge losses. ibid.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, The African, written by himself: it was far from the last such attempts to discredit the veracity of black suffering. ibid
Phillis Wheatley: poems on various subjects were published in London in 1773 when she was 19. She was born in Gambia, and like Sancho, was separated from her family for ever when she was snatched. ibid.
Sojourner Truth ... She heard the spirit of God calling on her to tell the truth … She began to preach restlessly … on the abolition of slavery … She came to know other prominent abolitionists. ibid.
Ned Turner was hanged … Fredrick Douglas escaped his enslavement in 1838. He became a great writer and orator … William Still: ibid.
Canada: Harriet Tubman: The Underground Railway had many heroes. Chief amongst them is Harriett Tubman … ‘I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.’ [Tubman made 13 trips to the South and rescued approximately 70 people from bondage.] ibid.
The American Civil War was over. Enslaved people were now free people. Though the chains of physical bondage were gone, new ways were found to restore the pre-war social order to keep black people down and subjugate them. Racist Jim Crow bylaws for example were enacted in the South long before South Africa institutionalised them as Apartheid … Not all men were created equal; in Black America t he struggle continued. 400 Years of Taking the Knee II
William E B Du Bois 1903: condemned Washington’s programme of industrial education, conciliation of the South, and submission and silence at their political rights. ibid.
Marcus Harvey was described by du Bois as, ‘The most dangerous enemy of the Negro in America and in the world.’ ibid.
100 days after Emmett Till was lynched, in December 1955 Rosa Parks was to initiate the year-long Montgomery bus boycott. ibid.
‘We can’t solve this problem through retaliatory violence. We must meet violence with non-violence.’ ibid. King
Rosa Parks’ bus boycott eight years earlier had it parallel in Bristol in the west of England: Paul Stephenson, the city’s first youth black officer … The Bristol Bus Boycott was organised: it took just 60 days to succeed. ibid.
Muhammad Ali’s boxing career took a turn towards social activism in 1966 when he refused to be drafted into the military, publicly declaring his opposition to the Vietnam war. ibid. King
Tonight: The pioneers and the trailblazers. The talent that’s helping build Britain. Celebrating our heroes and the role models for the future … In October 1987 Black History Month was started in the UK: its aim to celebrate the rich and diverse history of Black British Culture. Tonight: Black & British, ITV 2020
Now with Coronavirus the colour of my skin seems to be putting me at risk again? As a 55 year old back man I am three times more likely to die from Covid-19 than a white man of my age. I want to find out what’s driving this connection between my race and my health. Why is Covid Killing People of Colour? David Harewood reporting, BBC 2021
Covid-19 is just one part of a scandalous health inequality in Britain. ibid.
‘So there’s something specific about what happens to people of colour in societies like the US and the United Kingdom that’s not related to biology that makes them more at risk of dying of Covid-19 … Deprivation is bad for your health. ibid. expert
Racism and discrimination ... in the health outcomes of black people. ibid.
Black power: the words that can send shivers down the spine of the nervous white man. While the white man struggles with his nightmare, the black man struggles with his dream. Black Power: A British Story of Resistance, contemporary commentary of march, BBC 2021
West London 1970: a group of protesters march against harassment by the police of a black-owned restaurant called The Mangrove. Black power had arrived in Britain. Young black people were fighting back against a hostile environment. They stood up to the state and they defied the brutality of the police. It was a conflict that reached the highest courts in the land. ibid.
The migrants played a key role in rebuilding Britain. ibid.
Kelso Cochrane, a carpenter from Antigua, was stabbed to death by a white gang one night near Notting Hill. The police denied that the killing was racially motivated and nobody was prosecuted. ibid.
Even at school children were not safe from institutional racism. ibid.
Stokely Carmichael’s visit had the Labour government so concerned that Special Branch ordered him to leave the country and he was banned from re-entering. Soon afterwards the Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, set up a secret police department specifically to monitor radical black groups in Britain. ibid.