What To Watch & Stream For Black History Month UK

Founded by Ghanaian analyst Akyabba Addai Sebo in October 1987, the UK’s Black History Month is a time to learn about, reconnect with, and celebrate Black culture. Whilst the United States marks the month in February, Sebo chose to kickstart the UK’s version in October, as it’s traditionally the month when African leaders settle their differences.

To celebrate Black History Month, broadcasters and streaming services in the UK are offering an array of documentaries to educate audiences. Some specific to the UK include ITV’s five-part series Fresh Cuts, produced by Black filmmakers, and Lenny Henry’s Caribbean Britain, available on BBC iPlayer. Meanwhile, Disney+ is planning to release four new documentaries for audiences across the UK this month, including a powerful film on the death of 14-year-old Emmett Till, whose lynching in 1955 became a catalyst for the American civil rights movement.

From personal stories to the music of artists like Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, and Sly and the Family Stone (courtesy of the Oscar-award-winning documentary Summer of Soul), the following 12 documentaries honour Black history and culture.

Fresh Cuts

ITV is launching a new five-part series produced by Black filmmakers. Each episode will cover a different topic, including the Queen’s Jubilee, life as a Black tattoo artist, plastic surgery, the importance of rap music, and basketball.

The first episode aired on Sunday, Oct. 2, with episodes airing weekly. You can catch up with the series on ITV Hub.


Let The World See

Let The World See is a three-part series that focuses on the murder of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old who was abducted, tortured, and lynched in Mississippi in 1955. His mother, Mamie Carthan, insisted on an open-casket funeral so the world could see what had been done to her son.

Till’s murder was a turning point for civil rights in America, with Martin Luther King Jr. calling it “one of the most brutal and inhuman crimes of the 20th century.”

Let The World See will be available on Disney+ from Friday, October 7.

Screen Queens Rising

Exploring the history and legacy of Black actors in Hollywood, Screen Queens charts how stars like Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Regina Hall, and Tessa Thompson have ascended “to the top echelons of entertainment and American culture” over the last three decades.

Screen Queens will be available on Disney+ from Friday, October 14.

Enslaved With Samuel L. Jackson

Hollywood legend Samuel L. Jackson tracks the journeys of slave trade ships from Africa to the United States, Brazil, and the Caribbean in this four-part documentary series. Jackson also uncovers personal truths in his family history, tracing his ancestral tree back to the coastal region of Gabon in Central Africa.

After debuting in 2020, Enslaved with Samuel L. Jackson will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Oct. 5 on BBC Four. It will be available on BBC iPlayer shortly after.

Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now

Summer Of Soul

Summer Of Soul is an Oscar-winning documentary about the 1969 Harlem Festival. Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, viewers can experience performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly and the Family Stone, and The 5th Dimension, in addition to commentary about the historical and social context of the event.

You can watch Summer Of Soul on Disney+.


Black Power: A British Story Of Resistance

Lenny Henry’s British Caribbean

This two-part programme sees Lenny Henry celebrate how Caribbean and British culture combined to create a canvas of music, theatre, and art. Featuring guest appearances from Jazzie B, Floella Benjamin, Judi Love, Billy Ocean, Andi Oliver, and Levi Roots, the series captures what a Caribbean Britain means to Henry and those he interviews.

You can watch Lenny Henry’s Caribbean Britain here.

Charlene White: Empire’s Child

Troy Deeney: Where’s My History?

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