This month the Our City Together team, along with the Barbican, LSO and Keats house are celebrating the work of Black creatives. Below we’ve listed some of our favourite work written by, directed by, composed by and starring some of the best Black creative talent around.
Queen & Slim (2019) dir. Melina Matsoukas
If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) dir. Barry Jenkins
Black Panther (2018) dir. Ryan Coogler
Moonlight (2016) dir. Barry Jenkins
Selma (2015) dir. Ava DuVernay
Ray (2004) dir. Taylor Hackford
George Washington (2001) dir. David Gordon Green
Pariah (2011) dir. Dee Rees
Waves (2019) dir. Trey Edward Shults
Hale County, This Morning, This Evening (2018) dir. RaMell Ross
13th (2016) dir. Ava DuVernay
For even more things to watch, the Barbican have put together this brilliant list of Black British stories by Black UK directors, here
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Grand Union by Zadie Smith
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez
The 392 by Ashley Hickson-Lovence
Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Dangerous Love by Ben Okri
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga
'Before I Step Outside [You Love Me]' by Travis Alabanza
The Black Unicorn - Audre Lorde
The Black Flamingo - Dean Atta
South London rapper Dave chose the BRIT awards 2020 to highlight his commitment to battling racism, adding a new verse to his song Black.
Rapper, singer and songwriter, Stormzy has always used his platform to speak openly on issues of oppression. During his 2018 BRIT award performance, he directed his performance towards Theresa May’s handling of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Childish Gambino used this 2018 single to ‘air out’ systemic issues of racism and discrimination in the United States. The song became Gambino’s first number 1 and top 10 single in the US.
In response to the unjust killings of unarmed Black people globally in 2020, H.E.R. released this single during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement.
This song serves as an anthem for the protest of Black movements. It has been used by students protesting police brutality as well as across the world as a reminder of why we protest and why there remains the strength to carry on.
Florence was the first African American woman to have her work played by a major Orchestra (the Chicago Symphony) in 1933. Unfortunately, not much of her work is still played today, despite her best efforts to have her music heard during her lifetime.
Alabama has been at the starting point for the great migration when fleeing oppression and later again, being the ‘cradle’ of the civil rights movement and Black activism itself. Lenoir sings openly about his experience and survival within the state.
Released in 1968, Brown defined the 60s with this Black Power Funk anthem. This song encompasses the pride of being Black and stood as a defining song for many.
9. Run the Jewels - Walking in the Snow
Walking in the Snow is a 2020 commentary on a number of social justice issues, including both police brutality and the systemic injustices faced by those not at the top of society.