Black History Month is drawing to an end, but it is always the time to educate ourselves about Black history. Here are a few books, movies and podcasts that the STAR team has found helpful to learn more about Black British history – including a couple of top picks from organisations in the refugee and migrant sector.

If you want to sit down and read:

From the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants: if you want to learn more about the Windrush generation, check out JWCI’s four stories of Windrush heroes

If fiction is what you like, Natasha Brown’s debut novel, Assembly’, investigates the realisations of a young Black British woman about the life she has built for herself, questioning all she has known before. 

For a deeper dive into Black history in the UK, try ‘Black and British: A Forgotten History’ by David Olusoga orBlack England: A Forgotten Georgian History’ by Pr Gretchen Gerzina. 

Twenty Eight Pounds Ten Shillings: A Windrush Story’, Tony Fairweather’s debut novel, re-imagines the stories and experiences of  the passengers on board HMT Empire Windrush.

Black British Lives Matter: A Clarion Call for Equality’ by Lenny Henry and Marcus Ryder focuses on the unique experiences and perspectives of Black British and highlights the crucial importance of eradicating systemic racism. 

If you prefer poetry, Roger Robinson alongside photographer Johnny Pitts, have documented the contemporary Black experience throughout Britain inHome is Not a Place, a collection of poems, essays and photographs. 

Black in White by Charlotte Shyllon explores through poetry the racism and unconscious bias faced by a Black woman in the corporate world.

If you feel like listening to a podcast:

From Refugee Action: the Experts by Experience podcast was launched in June of this year and the 5th episode is dedicated to Black History Month, with panellists Catherine Lebadou, Mercy Darlington and Darlington Okpebholo Ray.

 ‘In Search of Black History’ with Bonnie Greener shines a light on Black history and the stories that have failed to be told by northern European historians. And if you want more on history, ‘We Need to Talk About the British Empire’ offers an enlightening perspective on the British Empire, through the family stories of leading figures in British culture today, who made the Empire what it was. 

For a podcast on race in the working world,The Diversity Gap’, with Bethaney Wilkinson offers a thought-provoking insight into racism, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. And for diversity and inclusion in academia, you can listen to UCL’s podcast ‘Academia et al.’ first episode. 

For a podcast mixing storytelling, music and fiction, ‘Have You Heard About George’s Podcast?’ presents inner-city life from a unique angle.

About Racewith Reni Eddo-Lodge, includes key voices from the last few decades of anti-racism activism and takes a takes a look at  recent history that has led to many of today’s political issues around race.

Finally,’ Intersectionality Matters’ unpacks political and racial topics through conversations with activists, journalists, politicians, and historians, with a focus on the United-States. It is hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, a leading scholar of critical race theory.

If you are looking for a film or documentary to watch:

From City of Sanctuary: City of Sanctuary has released a short video on the importance of teaching Black History to tackle systemic racism.

Black Power: A British Story of Resistance’  covers UK Black Power movement of the 1960s and 70s, detailing how music like reggae and soul helped shape ideas into action. For other glimpses of the past and the black British experience, ‘Burning an Illusion’ (1981), ‘Playing Away’ (1986) and ‘Babymother’ (1998) are great movies to watch. And for a discussion around the absence from the British curriculum of ??Black, Asian, and minority ethnic histories, try Troy Deeney’s ‘Where’s My History?’ on All4. Lastly, ‘Out of Darkness examines the African cultural contribution to the world through an historical lense.

For personal experiences and testimonies, ITV has launched a new five-part series ‘Fresh Cuts’ produced by Black filmmakers covering topics such as the Queen’s Jubilee, life as a Black tattoo artist, plastic surgery, the importance of rap music, and basketball. 

In Empire’s Child’ broadcaster and ITV News presenter Charlene White explores how the British Empire shaped her family history. 

On BBC, ‘Lenny Henry’s British Caribbeancelebrates how Caribbean and British culture combined to create a canvas of music, theatre, and art.

Have anymore suggestions? Let us know by emailing us

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