Friday 9th October 2020

At Teenage Cancer Trust, we know how important it is for young people to be able to be their most authentic selves, especially when they’re facing something tough.

We first shared some of these resources as part of Black History Month in 2020, and now we’ve expanded the list and are giving them a permanent place on our site. It’s always time to be seen and heard, and to educate ourselves to be actively anti-racist and celebrate people of colour.

This selection is just a starting point, and we hope it inspires you to keep exploring and learning.

We also have a section on LGBTQ+ resources. It’s important to know that both these sections will have cross-over. There will be experiences of people who are both people of colour and LGBTQ+ that are important to acknowledge and champion. This concept is called ‘intersectionality’ and you can find out more about it in Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED talk here.

Content warning:

Some of these resources or accounts might not be suitable for everyone, especially those who have lived experience of racism, and those under the age of 18. Always check the age and content guidance and look to see what subjects they contain.

Some of the resources we share may contain strong language, offensive language, discriminatory treatment and language, nudity, scenes of a sexual nature, themes of death and dying, and/or violence. We don’t hold any responsibility for the content on other sites or accounts.

Documentaries and films

Online streaming services Netflix, Amazon and YouTube have a range of thought-provoking films and documentaries which deal with issues of Black history and rights, and highlight a history of racial struggles. Here’s a small selection to start your learning with.

I Am Not Your Negro

This documentary is based on a book by author and civil rights advocate James Baldwin. It examines black history and ties in the historic Civil Rights movement to the more recent movement surrounding #BlackLivesMatter.

Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement

This documentary follows the recent evolution of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement through interviews with local activists, protestors, and scholars.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

This film examines the life of the remarkable poet, writer, dancer, singer, and activist, Maya Angelou. It traces her life and struggles with incredible never-before-seen footage, interviews, and photographs.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

This documentary about singer and activist Nina Simone follows her tumultuous life. Simone’s experiences of living through abuse and the Civil Rights era are eye-opening.

Black and British: a forgotten history

Historian David Olusoga explores the enduring relationship between Britain and people whose origins lie in Africa. From the African Romans who guarded Hadrian’s Wall in the 3rd century AD to the black trumpeter of the Tudor courts.

Selma

Selma is a historical drama film based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches initiated and directed by Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams and John Lewis.

Moonlight

Moonlight is a drama based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It looks at the stages of life of the main character, a young black boy, exploring the difficulties he faces with his sexuality and identity.

Rafiki

Rafiki is Swahili for ‘friend’ and is a Kenyan drama about a romance that grows between two young women, Kena and Ziki, amidst family and political pressures around LGBTQ+ rights in Kenya.

Books

There are loads of books to choose from when it comes to learning more about Black history. Your local bookshop might have a dedicated section to check out.

These books are must-reads for learning more about the British Black experience and history, specifically.

  • 100 Great Black Britons – Patrick Vernon
  • Black and British – David Olusoga
  • Brit(ish) – Afua Hirsh
  • Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation – Colin Grant
  • Black Britain: A Photographic History – Paul Gilroy
  • Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain – Peter Fryer
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
  • Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire – Akala
  • The Good Immigrant - Nikesh Shukla
  • White Fragility – Robin D’Angelo
  • Audre Lorde – Sister outsider

Podcasts

Here are some of the best podcasts on race identity, black history and issues facing Black people all over the UK and the US.

Anthems Black

Anthems Black is a collection of original speeches, stories and poems written and read by lively, exceptional, and well-known Black British voices.

Black Gals Livin'

Jas and Victoria chat about mental health, pop culture and daily life. They are funny but frank and focus on issues that affect the Black community.

About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge

‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’ author Reni Eddo-Lodge started this podcast to discuss in-depth issues centred around race.

1619

In August 1619, 20 enslaved African people arrived in what was the English colony of Virginia. This podcast examines what effect the 250 years of slavery that followed had on America. 1619 is a New York Times audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Code Switch

Hosted by journalists of colour, this podcast examines the subject of race in detail. It looks at how it impacts every aspect of society – including politics, pop culture, history and sports.