Label’s Entertainment Editor, Sophie Alexander, recommends what to watch during Black History Month.
As we ease our way closer to another frightful Halloween, October is not just for the wicked. Black History Month is alive and well here in the UK and I’d like to share with you some of the ways you can get caught up in the celebration:
Bring it to the ballroom with this Ryan Murphy series all about the lives of the LGBT+ and Drag community in the 1980s. A display of the various struggles these artists endure as they strive to live a non-conforming life. Pose, though filled with serious topics regarding HIV, racism and homophobia, is still unapologetically fab and uplifting as we root for the triumphs of our characters. The show is also accredited for having actual transgender actors and putting them into the forefront. Pose gets 10’s across the board!
A documentary with interviews from African American women on skin colour discrimination and how it has affected the way they live. Also looks at internalised racism in children as those of colour desire white/lighter-skinned toys and dolls (perhaps echoing the ideas in Toni Morrison’s book ‘The Bluest Eye’).
What would Beyoncé do? That’s the mantra that Tracey surely stands by, although her love of Beyoncé may come into contrast with her religious belief. The struggles with wanting to become more sexual liberated in an environment that does not condone such behaviour. The series follows this 24-year-old virgin and her inner conflicts with religion, family expectations and her own desires – and it’s also quite funny.
Small Axe (Mini-series)
A gripping six-part series about the experiences of black people in Britain, set between the late 1960s to early 80s. The show follows the Mangrove protests that fought against racial injustice in the police force. The show also looks towards the beautiful aspects of black culture; with music and romance intertwining with a violent lifestyle. A beautifully written and captivating watch.
Exploring not only race but the coming to terms with sexuality, this stunning film takes us through the three stages of Chiron’s life: childhood, adolescence and adulthood. A very powerful and eye-opening film in understanding the struggles of the black LGBTQ+ community.
The Last Tree
The move from rural Lincolnshire to London is no easy feat, especially for young Femi. After living with his foster mother in the fields for so many years, Femi decides to move to London to live with his birth mother and discover his true identity. The film focuses on the struggles to self-discovery and what life is like for a young black man in modern Britain. With fantastic writing and powerful screen presence, this is a must watch coming-of-age story.
Of course, this list could go on forever with the likes of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to ‘Get out’ but I hope you find great enjoyment, understanding and appreciation for these fine works of film.
Header by Label’s Assistant Head of Design Christos Alamaniotis