Black History Month spans October and NOW TV have launched their programme for a collection of film, TV series or documentaries that celebrate black talent, culture and history, as well as educates and engages in the ongoing fight for racial equality.
From the prominent figures in history that have spurred movements, the agents of change who have overcome barriers and systems and the trailblazing creators who write, produce and star in acclaimed black stories on screen. Let’s take a closer look…
John Lewis: Good Trouble (Sky Documentaries)
An intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’ life and legacy – charting more than 60 years of extraordinary activism. As one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s closest allies Lewis organised Freedom Rides that left him bloodied or jailed, and stood at the front lines in historic marches on Washington and Selma.
Just Mercy (Sky Cinema)
A powerful and thought-provoking true story, Just Mercy follows young lawyer and Harvard graduate Bryan Stevenson (played by Michael B. Jordan) in his history-making battle to overturn the wrongful conviction of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx) a man condemned to die for the notorious murder of an 18 year old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence.
Harriet (Sky Cinema)
A film based on the thrilling and inspirational life of iconic American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman. In an Oscar-nominated performance by Cynthia Erivo, Harriet tells the extraordinary tale of Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.
What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali (Sky Documentaries)
Chronicling the extraordinary life of 20th century icon Muhammad Ali. This documentary directed by Antoine Fuqua usesvoice recordings from Ali and previously unseen archival footage to explore the challenges, confrontations, comebacks and triumphs he faced. This is an intimate portrait of a man who was a beacon of hope for oppressed people around the world and, in his later years, was recognized as a global citizen and a symbol of humanity and understanding.
Rise Up: The Movement that changed America (Sky Documentaries)
This one-hour documentary explores the key battles in the Civil Rights Movement that transformed American society – from the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 to the Chicago Campaign which led to the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The special will uncover what it took to translate protest into real legislative change.
Save Me Too (Sky Atlantic)
Written, created and starring Lennie James, the critically acclaimed Save Me Too continues the story of Nelson “Nelly” Rowe, a down-and-out whose life is turned upside down when Jody, the estranged daughter he fathered thirteen years ago, mysteriously disappears. In Save Me Too, Nelly’s desperate quest to find his daughter has potentially terrible consequences.
A Black Lady Sketch Show (Sky Comedy)
Executively produced by Issa Rae, this HBO narrative series is set in a limitless magical reality full of dynamic, hilarious characters and celebrity guests. The show presents sketches performed by a core cast of black women, including Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, Gabrielle Dennis and Quinta Brunson.
In the Long Run S3 (Sky One)
Loosely based on Idris Elba’s own childhood, this is a semi-autobiographical comedy created by and starring Elba. In series three, Walter (Elba) is desperate to impress his mum who has just arrived from Sierra Leone and Bagpipes (Bill Bailey) near death experience has made him question the meaning of life. Meanwhile Agnes (Madeline Appiah) is suspicious as some developers take an interest in Eastbridge Estate – threatening the very existence of the community.
Lovecraft Country (Sky Atlantic)
Developed by Misha Green and based on Matt Ruff’s novel of the same name, HBO drama Lovecraft Country follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he meets up with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters that could be ripped from a Lovecraft paperback.
Bulletproof S3 (Sky One)
Starring and executive produced by Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, Bulletproof follows two undercover cops, Bishop (Clarke) and Pike (Walters) as they chase down hardened criminals in London’s East End. In Season 2 a chance discovery propels Bishop and Pike to go deep undercover to infiltrate a notorious international crime family, the Markides.
Althea (Sky Documentaries)
This documentary film follows the trailblazing story of American sports star Althea Gibson, raised on the rough streets of Harlem, Althea emerged as a queen of the 1950s segregated tennis world. She was the first African American to play and win at Wimbledon and take home a Grand Slam Title and went on to break the colour barrier on the Ladies PGA tour at the age of 37.
Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution (Sky History)
One-hour documentary featuring activist, author and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as he brings to life the stories of African Americans who fought on the side of the revolutionaries in the American War of Independence. Telling the story of the revolution through the eyes of iconic African American figures: Crispus Attucks, Peter Salem, Phillis Wheatley and James Armistead Lafayette.
Watchmen (Sky Atlantic)
Emmy-award winning drama set in an alternate history Tulsa, Oklahoma, the series picks up three years after a co-ordinated white supremacist attack on police and their families, an event referred to as the White Night. Although the racist movement has been forced into the shadows, detective Angela Abar, played by Emmy award winner Regina King and Tulsa police chief Judd Crawford (Don Johnson) work together on a police shooting that may signal a revival of the terrorist group.
The Time is Now: Race and Resolution (Sky History)
Following the brutal killing of George Floyd, this one-hour virtual ‘round-table’ features discussion from leading Black activists, experts and commentators on recent tumultuous events in America. Discussion is chaired by Carlos Watson, editor of Ozy and includes activist, author and NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, President of the NAACP Derrick Johnson and comedian and activist Amanda Seales.