Programme 1: Less than 50 years ago a passionate bedroom kiss between a white man and a black woman in a popular television soap opera was the stuff of tabloid headlines. So risque that, in fact, once the news broke, the kiss was cut.
Inter-racial relationships were just one of the many taboos that early black actors had to deal with – as Burt Caesar discovers in the first of two programmes exploring how immigrants from the Caribbean were depicted in British screen drama.? He talks to some of the pioneering generation of black British actors about what it was like to play black characters in the 1950s and 60s, a time when the new Caribbean presence was still a curiosity for audiences in this country.
Programme 2: By the 1970s the prevailing screen images of black people were as muggers and thieves or as the butt of comedians jokes. But, as tensions between young black men and the police escalated in cities across the country, a small number of black writers and film makers started to challenge these stereotypes and tell their own stories. Their task was not easy but, as Burt finds out in this programme, the body of work they created now provides a valuable alternative view of black lives in Britain.
Contributors include: actors Earl Cameron CBE, Mona Hammond, Cy Grant, Joan Hooley, Rudolph Walker, writer Michael Abbensetts, film makers John Akomfrah OBE,Menelek Shabazz, Alrick Riley, sound recordist Albert Bailey, commentators June Givanni, Dr Jim Pines and Baroness Lola Young.
Please note: Most of the films discussed in this series can be viewed free of charge at the BFI Southbank’s Mediatheque in London or at the Quad in Derby
Mukti Jain Campion
Tel: 0208 994 6980