We would highly recommend watching “Black and British: A Forgotten History”, a four-part documentary series written and presented by David Olusoga which is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. It was first broadcast in 2016, and walks us through the history of Black people in the UK and its colonies, beginning with those who arrived as part of the Roman occupation, and links that history to modern Black British identity. During the series, twenty commemorative plaques are erected, each with its own story. One such plaque is in memory of Francis Barber, a former slave who became the manservant of Dr Samuel Johnson, the compiler of the English dictionary. Although Barber lived with Johnson for more than 30 years and became his heir, little was known about him.
The series is thought-provoking, powerful, humbling and eye opening.
In response to the global Black Lives Matter movement with protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, the series was re-broadcast on the BBC and made available on BBC Player. All four episodes can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/
David Adetayo Olusoga OBE is a British historian, writer, broadcaster, presenter and film-maker. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and British mother. At five years old, Olusoga migrated to the UK with his mother and grew up in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. David also wrote a book of the same title, to accompany the series. The book was awarded the 2017 Hessell-Tiltman Prize. He has recently released a children’s version of this book (Black and British: A short, essential history).