Throughout the month of October, streaming platforms have been releasing important and educational programming about Black history and the fight for racial equality. Discover a selection of must-see documentaries, feature films and TV shows, all available to stream online now.
Channel 4’s Black and Proud season celebrates Black lives and Black culture through a variety of programming. It presents bold and timely documentaries, powerful shorts and thought-provoking features. Examples include The Talk, in which Tinie Tempah, Emeli Sandé and other well-known Black Britons share their poignant, funny and emotional experiences of the conversations parents have to help their children face racism. Long-form films available to stream include Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not A Witch and 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen. In documentary, gal-dem presents Black British History and Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o journeys across Benin in West Africa, uncovering the remarkable truth about an army of female fighters.
On BBC iPlayer, Inside Cinema delves into the works of visionary directors Jordan Peele, Ryan Coogler, Ava DuVernay and Barry Jenkins. The series of short documentaries shines a light on their landmark films, including Moonlight, Get Out and Black Panther. Also showing on the platform is Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro. Narrated entirely in the words of James Baldwin, the film touches on the lives and assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr and Medgar Evers. The film “brings powerful clarity to how the images and reality of black lives in America today are fabricated and enforced.” Elsewhere, in Black is the New Black, exceptional figures from politics, business, sport, culture, religion and science share their insights into being black and British today.
Netflix presents a series of key works by Ava DuVernay as part of their Black Lives Matter Collection, with the Oscar-nominated 13th available to watch for free on YouTube. It is a piercing examination of the U.S. prison system, looking at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America. The film combines archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars. Over on Netflix, Selma follows Martin Luther King Jr. as he leads a protest in Alabama – which culminates in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. Stand-out series include When They See Us, which is based on a true story. It tracks five teens from Harlem, who are falsely accused of an attack in Central Park. Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman and Da 5 Bloods are also recommended viewing.
ITV invites viewers Back to School with Alison Hammond, travelling across the country and back in time to discover some of the black figures who have been hidden from Britain’s history. The journey reveals those omitted from the education system. Other documentaries include Craig and Danny: Funny, Black and on TV, featuring friends Craig Charles and Danny John-Jules. It celebrates 50 years of Black British comedy legends by looking back at Black comedy icons. Panel show Sorry, I Didn’t Know takes audiences on a global tour of Black British history. Hosted by Jimmy Akingbola, two teams battle it out to reveal eye-opening facts – and to make “sorry, I didn’t know,” a phrase of the past.
All programmes and films available now.
- Still from BlacKkKlansman
- Still from Selma
- Still from I Am Not Your Negro
- Still from When They See Us
- Still from I Am Not Your Negro