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WORTH A WATCH

Documentaries

Music Documentaries & Performances

Saint John Coltrane - A Love Supreme - BBC Documentary (2004) A biography of the Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, with interviews with friends, colleagues and admirers.

BBC iPlayer - Fighting the Power: Britain after George Floyd Daniel Henry follows the Black Lives Matter campaign in the UK, as the country is forced to look again at its record on race in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US

BBC iPlayer - BLACK AND BRITISH: A Forgotten History Historian David Olusoga explores the enduring relationship between Britain and people whose origins lie in Africa. From the African Romans who guarded Hadrian's Wall in the 3rd century AD to the black trumpeter of the Tudor courts, David uncovers a history that is as surprising as it is revealing.

Count Basie through His Own Eyes

Documentary, told in Count Basie’s own words, which reveals for the first time the private passions and ambitions that inspired the world-famous bandleader and pianist. 

Until now, little was known about Basie’s private and family life, but director Jeremy Marre has found a treasure trove of home movies and photo albums that show Basie’s remarkable relationship with his wife Catherine, whose pioneering support for African-American causes placed her at the side of Martin Luther King. Through Basie’s intimate footage and letters - and interviews with friends like Quincy Jones and Annie Ross - we discover the count’s protective love for his disabled daughter Diane who ‘was never out of his heart and mind - the hidden core of his creative life’. 

Basie’s musical achievements were remarkable. He was the first African-American musician to win a Grammy. He brought the blues to the big band podium. He was ‘King of the Swing Kings’. We see rare performances with Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr and many others. But this film digs deeper, uncovering the inner motivation and passions that drove Basie’s career as he became a unique link between jazz and America’s turbulent social history.

BBC iPlayer - SOUL AMERICA Three-part series chronicling the journey of soul music from its origins in gospel and R&B.

BBC iPlayer -  Alt History

Series 1: 1. Black British History We’re Not Taught in Schools

Writer and historian David Olusoga introduces a series of short films exploring critical moments in Black British history that we're not taught in schools. 

BBC iPlayer -  Britain's Forgotten Slave Owners.   In 1834 Britain abolished slavery, a defining and celebrated moment in our national history. What has been largely forgotten is that abolition came at a price. The government of the day took the extraordinary step of compensating the slave owners for loss of their 'property', as Britain's slave owners were paid £17bn in today's money, whilst the slaves received nothing. 

For nearly 200 years, the meticulous records that detail this story have lain in the archives virtually unexamined - until now. In an exclusive partnership with University College London, historian David Olusoga uncovers Britain's forgotten slave owners. Forensically examining the compensation records, he discovers the range of people who owned slaves and the scale of the slavery business. 

James Baldwin - The iconic Cambridge Speech.

BBC iPlayer - When Bob Marley Came to Britain 

In the 1970s, Bob Marley rose from humble beginnings to become a global superstar. It was a journey that took place not just in his homeland of Jamaica but also in Britain - the place he came to regard as his second home. 

Featuring rarely seen archive and interviews with people who met him, this documentary examines Marley’s special relationship with Britain and reveals how his presence influenced British politics, culture and identity during a time of massive social and civil unrest in the UK - and how his universal message of one love and unity helped inspire a generation of black British youth. 

Dr. Martin Luther King - How he changed the world and why he is still an icon of positivity and equality even today in 2020.

soho live -2018 -tribute to aretha frank

BBC iPlayer -  Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things - Tracing the story of Ella Fitzgerald’s life, this special film explores how her music became a soundtrack for a tumultuous century

BBC iPlayer -  Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson  Samuel L Jackson traces his ancestry to Gabon, visiting the coastal area of Loango National Park to see from where his enslaved ancestors were shipped in their millions to the Americas. But he wants to do more than tell the story of the enslaved who survived. The trans-Atlantic slave trade existed for well over 400 years, involving more than 45,000 voyages from dozens of outposts along the African coast. Over 2 million Africans died en route, and up to 1,000 slave ships ended up as wrecks, with only a handful ever having been identified. Jackson teams up with a group of underwater investigators who view the ocean floor as a graveyard and a crime scene. They dive the English Channel to find the 350-year-old wreck of an unidentified slave ship and discover its secrets. This is the oldest slave ship ever discovered, and deep on the dark ocean floor the divers make a remarkable find. 

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