Olusoga is one of my favourite TV historians at the moment - his peerless "House Through Time" series utterly captivated me and he accidentally became somewhat of a local figurehead after his measured commentary on the dunking of Colston's statue in Bristol earlier this year. His tone is always deeply personal - hugely empathetic and his work is fundamentally about redressing the hard imbalance in British historical narratives.
Black and British is a dense bit of TV history, centered loosely around the performative act of unveiling plaques, each episode is split up into perhaps five or so vignettes, little stories that end in a cathartic modern gathering of relatives or locals. It's a tremendously clever way of symbolically weaving the historical with the contemporary - and imbuing relevance onto distant incidents.
In the five years since this was aired, the discussions had in it have become even more relevant, and the patchwork quilt of our collective national consciousness still needs heavy mending and far more nuance for the years ahead. The prevailing message this series instilled in me is that history isn't a clear narrative and our view of it is always tempered by who tells it and what they want to communicate. What they omit says just as much as what they include and I'm deeply grateful we have Olusoga's compassionate interpretation to add into the mix.
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