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Witness History: Black history BBC World Service

    • History
    • 4.6 • 86 Ratings

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    The Little Black Book survival guide

    The Little Black Book survival guide

    In 1985, Carol Taylor wrote a survival guide for young black men in the Unites Stated who were stopped by the police.

    Her son, Laurence Legall, tells Ashley Byrne the story of the small and important book created by his mum to help young black men stay safe on the streets of New York.

    It all began when Laurence went shopping and was robbed but the police didn’t take his complaint seriously.

    This is a Made in Manchester production for BBC World Service.

    (Photo: Carol Taylor. Credit: Laurence Legall)

    • 9 min
    The beginnings of Notting Hill Carnival

    The beginnings of Notting Hill Carnival

    On 30 January 1959, the late Trinidadian activist Claudia Jones held a Caribbean party in St Pancras Town Hall in London, planting the seeds for the famous carnival.

    She wanted to bring Caribbeans across the capital together for dancing, singing and steel bands.

    Rachel Naylor hears from her best friend, Corinne Skinner-Carter.

    (Photo: A woman having a good time at Claudia Jones' Caribbean carnival, at St Pancras Town Hall in London, 1959. Credit: Daily Mirror via Getty Images)

    • 10 min
    The Harder They Come

    The Harder They Come

    In 1972, a low-budget Jamaican film and its legendary soundtrack helped popularise reggae music in the world. Ben Henderson spoke to one of the most famous reggae artists ever, Jimmy Cliff, who played the film's protagonist and wrote a number of the songs. Jimmy explained why the film was so popular and how it reflected his own life.

    'The Harder They Come' was produced by International Films Inc.

    (Photo: Jimmy Cliff in 'The Harder They Come'. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images)

    • 10 min
    The funk and soul club that changed Manchester

    The funk and soul club that changed Manchester

    In 1962, Nigerian man Phil Magbotiwan opened a brand new nightclub in Manchester, England.

    In part because of his own personal experiences of racism, Phil wanted to create somewhere where everyone would be welcome – Manchester’s first racially inclusive nightclub. The Reno was born.

    The nightclub became a particularly important space for Manchester's mixed heritage community, who felt unwelcome in city centre venues.

    Phil’s youngest daughter, Lisa Ayegun has been sharing her memories of the Reno with Matt Pintus.

    This programme contains descriptions of racial discrimination.

    (Photo: Phil Magbotiwan (right) standing in front of the Reno nightclub in Manchester. Credit: The Magbotiwan family)

    • 10 min
    Civil Rights activist Ida B Wells

    Civil Rights activist Ida B Wells

    In March 2022 a law was passed in the United States making lynching a federal crime - nearly 120 years after the first attempts to introduce legislation. The pioneering African-American journalist Ida B Wells first campaigned for the change in the 1890s after realising the horror of lynching taking place across the country. Laura Jones has been speaking to her great-granddaughter Michelle Duster.

    PHOTO: Ida B Wells in 1920 (Chicago History Museum/Getty Images)

    • 9 min
    The death of Trayvon Martin

    The death of Trayvon Martin

    In February 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot dead by a member of a Neighbourhood Watch group who claimed he was acting suspiciously. The unarmed black teenager was returning to a gated community in Florida after buying some snacks from a nearby convenience store His death sparked national outrage in the US over racial profiling and the first use of the slogan "Black Lives Matter". Rachel Naylor talks to Trayvon Martin's high school friend, Ashley Burch.

    PHOTO: A protest demanding justice for Trayvon Martin in 2013 (Getty Images)

    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
86 Ratings

86 Ratings

Apalindromea ,

Excellent

A wonderful introduction into important events. Always with an eyewitness account.

Contraryan ,

Excellent coverage

Excellent coverage of events that deserve more attention than they get. At 10 minutes or so, a good length.

JAZZZ LOVER ,

Wow!!!

Please keep them coming! Absolutely love the content and delivery.

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