Watch, Read, Listen for Black History Month 2020

Author
Our City Together

Watch, Read, Listen – Black History Month

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.  

Moonlight (2016) dir. Barry Jenkins

Watch

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

Read

Fiction

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 

Non-fiction

 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

Poetry

'Before I Step Outside [You Love Me]' by Travis Alabanza

The Black Unicorn - Audre Lorde

The Black Flamingo - Dean Atta

Artist: H.E.R

Listen

  1. Dave – Blac

South London rapper Dave chose the BRIT awards 2020 to highlight his commitment to battling racism, adding a new verse to his song Black.  

  1. Stormzy – Blinded By Your Grace Pt. 2

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.

  1. Childish Gambino – This Is America

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.

  1. H.E.R. – I Can’t Breathe

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.

  1. Kendrick Lamar – Alright

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.

  1. Florence B Price – Symphony No. 1 in E minor

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.

  1. J.B. Lenoir – Alabama

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.

  1. James Brown —Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud!

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.