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Black and White in Colour (1992)


Main image of Black and White in Colour (1992)
For Black & White in Colour, BBC, 27-30/6/1992
2 x 50 minutes, colour
DirectorIsaac Julien
ProducerColin MacCabe
Production CompanyBritish Film Institute
NarratorStuart Hall

Interviewees include: Pearl Connor, Thomas Baptiste, Lenny Henry, Norman Beaton, Horace Ové

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A two part documentary that details the contribution of black and Asian people to television history from the birth of television in 1936 to 1992

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This two-part documentary made by the British Film Institute for the BBC is a retrospective of the involvement of black and Asian people in British television. It looks at the representation of black people on television and makes reference to the wider context of cultural, political and social events. Directed by Isaac Julien and narrated by the eminent Professor Stuart Hall, this is a valuable chronicle of television history.

The centrepiece of a BBC2 season of the same name, Black and White in Colour mixes rare archive material with interviews from leading commentators, TV executives, producers and performers. It charts landmark televisual events as well as the response of broadcasters to a changing social landscape: from the birth of the BBC in 1936 to the Queen's coronation in 1953; from the Black and White Minstrel Show(1958-1978) to The Fosters; My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) to the Brixton riots and beyond. Writers, actors and filmmakers discuss how these events affected them as artists and tackle issues of representation, racism and employment.

The programme is a valuable chronicle of television history, which asks challenging questions of both the audience and the television industry. Part One deals with the period from 1936 to 1969; Part Two takes the story up to 1992.

Ann Ogidi

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Video Clips
Part one: 1936-1968 (46:23)
Part two: 1968-1992 (49:18)
Akomfrah, John (1957-)
Henry, Lenny (1958- )
Julien, Isaac (1960-)
Ové, Horace (1939-)