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Forgotten Black TV Drama

February 2019

A fine selection of groundbreaking dramas from 1961-1985, many of them not seen since they were first broadcast, all of them worth your time.

Introduction by season curators Stephen Bourne and Lez Cooke

Forgotten Black TV Drama


“To accept one’s past – one’s history – is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it”
James Baldwin

This season showcases the work of some of the most outstanding African and Caribbean writers of their generation, such as Jan Carew, Sylvia Wynter, Barry Reckord, Michael Abbensetts, Jamal Ali, Buchi Emecheta, Caryl Phillips, Mustapha Matura and Trix Worrell, and features pioneering black British actors including Lloyd Reckord, Horace James, Don Warrington, Cleo Sylvestre, Thomas Baptiste, Norman Beaton, Carmen Munroe, Rudolph Walker and Mona Hammond. We also host the first screening since 1961 of a play written for the legendary American entertainer Sammy Davis Jr, in a rare dramatic role. This is an opportunity to rediscover some neglected dramas from the past, appreciate their continuing relevance and participate in a debate about the current and future possibilities for black British drama in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

Stephen Bourne and Lez Cooke


See our screenings of If Beale Street Could Talk and a James Baldwin salon.

Discover more black British TV drama free on BFI Player and in BFI Mediatheques around the UK.


Royal Holloway University


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