Television

Sky History marks Black History Month with a host of new programmes and initiative 31 Faces Of Black British History

This sounds superb as this October, Sky History will be exploring Black History every Sunday from 9pm as they launch a new social media-led initiative, 31 Faces Of Black British History, to celebrate the achievements of notable Black figures throughout British History.

On 4th October at 9pm, we’ll see the UK premiere of 400 Years Taking the Knee; a two-part documentary presented by writer, publisher and BBC radio presenter Dotun Adebayo, focusing on historic individuals who fought and struggled against colonialism, slavery, and their legacies. Other shows to keep an eye out for include the UK premiere of Slaveship Mutiny (11th October, 9pm) and Aftershock: Beyond the Civil War (25th October, 9pm).

To celebrate Black History MonthSky History are also inviting the public to nominate the most influential Black people in British history, as part of the 31 Faces Of Black British History initiative. Via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the broadcaster will be asking us all for submissions of people whom they think deserve to be recognised.  

From those submissions, the channel will then work with a diverse and representative group of historians to collate the final list of the 31 Faces Of Black British History to be shared online each day in October on www.history.co.uk – This call-out is open from 19 September!

Dr Angelina Osborne is one of the historians working with Sky HISTORY on the project and is the co-author of new book 100 Great Black Britons. She also features in series one of the Sky History podcast, Not What You Thought You Knew, and had this to say:

Writing and researching 100 Great Black Britons was a journey into British history that is seldom explored. To make sense of the African and Caribbean presence it is crucial that we seek out and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Britons. Sky HISTORY’s campaign is an important intervention in raising awareness about Black British history.”

Sky HISTORY will be releasing the second season of the podcast, Not What You Thought You Knew in September. Hosted by Dr Fern Riddell, the podcast explores little-known characters from history to reveal their incredible stories with several episodes focused on Black British History including writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, the Ivory Bangle Lady and First World War officer Allan Noel Minns. The first season is available to download for free: podfollow.com/not-what-you-thought-you-knew

Commenting on the podcast, Dr Fern Riddell said: 

“Hosting Not What You Thought You Knew is a joy. I’ve never had the opportunity to investigate historical stories with other experts before, and to sit and have a conversation with leaders in their field, about things that will challenge and surprise our listeners, well it’s just a dream come true. We have a great young team committed to breaking apart stereotypes, and that’s at the heart of every episode we make.” 

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