TEDxLondon Recommends... Black History Month Watch and Play - TEDxLondon

TEDxLondon Recommends… Black History Month Watch and Play

We compiled such a longlist of recommendations for Black History Month  that we had to split them into three parts: what to read, listen and watch. Our final installment is our top things to watch and play on screen. 

These media pieces centre on Black experiences, identities, histories and cultures and often feature Black leads, directors, writers and producers. With a range of topics and ideas, hopefully you’ll find something to sit back, relax and enjoy this Black History Month (and beyond). If you missed our previous instalments of our longlist of recommendations for Black History Month, click here for part one on what to read and click here for part two on what to listen. 

Television shows to enjoy

1. African Renaissance: When Art Meets Power  (2020)

Afua Hirsch shows Africa on its own terms, exploring the histories of Ethiopia, Senegal and Kenya through their extraordinary art, music and culture.

2. I May Destroy You (2020)

If you can’t remember it, how could you consent? Resisting the label of sexual assault victim, Arabella takes on the painful, freeing climb to who she could be. From Michaela Coel.

3. Shame in the Game: Racism in Football (2020)

As incidents of football racism soar in the UK, players at every level of the game are calling for drastic action. The film shows the devastating impact that the abuse can have on the players and their families, and asks what can be done to stop this.

4. Noughts and Crosses (2020)

In a dystopian London, Sephy and Callum fall in love despite the odds. Can they breach the divide between the black elite and white underclass? Based on Malorie Blackman’s novels.

5. Sitting in Limbo (2020)

A shocking drama inspired by the Windrush scandal. After 50 years in the UK, Anthony Bryan is wrongfully detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation.

6. When They See Us (2020)

Based on a true story. As the jogger case stirs tension nationwide, the families of the boys (known as the central park 5) and their lawyers prepare for a bitter legal fight against the city of New York. 

7. Pose (2020)

Drama about New York’s City’s African-American and Lation LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture in the 1980s. 

8. Blood & Water (2020)

After crossing paths at a party, Cape Town teen sets out to prove whether a private-school swimming star is her sister who was abducted at birth.

Films to explore

1. Farming ​(2018)

Based on his own life story, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Farming charts the extraordinary journey of a young fostered Nigerian boy who, struggling to find an identity, falls in with a skinhead gang in 1980’s England.

2. Just Mercy ​(2019)

A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)

Inspired by a science book, 13 year old William Kamkwamba builds a wind turbine to save his village from famine. Based on a true story. 

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (2019)

Barry Jenkins brings his highly anticipated adaptation of James Baldwin’s stunning novel. Tish recalls the connection between her and her fiance Alonzo Hunt. Their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. 

5. BlacKKKlansman (2018)

The first black detective of the Colorado Springs Police Department teams up with a jewish colleague to infiltrate a group of white supremacists. 

6. Queen & Slim (2019)

While on a first date in Ohio, a black man and woman are pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. The situation escalates with sudden and tragic results, when the man kills the policer in self-defense. 

7. Us (2019)

Haunted by an unexplainable and unresolved trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide feels her paranoia elevate to high-alert as she grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family. 

8. Rocks (2019)

Following her mother’s abrupt departure, a dynamic and determined teen goes to extraordinary lengths to protect and provide for her younger brother. 

Video games to play

By no means a comprehensive list, but here are some tasters for video game players who want to diversify their gaming this Black History Month. For more on the history of black protagonists and characters in video games, check out this great video by NowNerd, “The History of Black Video Game Characters”.

1. Detroit: Become Human ​(2018)

Detroit 2038. Technology has evolved to a point where human-like androids are everywhere – they speak, move and behave like human beings but they aren’t. Play three distinct androids, make decisions and alter how the game’s intense, branching narrative plays out. How will your decisions affect the future?

2. Watch Dogs 2 (2016)

Players control Marcus Holloway, a hacker who works with the hacking group DedSec to take down the city’s advanced surveillance system known as ctOS. Ignite the rebel in you and break the rules – for the lulz, for what’s right, and most importantly, because you can.

3. Apex Legends ​(2019)

The next evolution of Battle Royale, this shooter game allows you to play legendary characters with powerful abilities and team up to battle for fame and fortune on the fringes of the Frontier. Enjoy an ever-growing roster of truly diverse and fun Legend characters, such as Bangalore, Lifeline and Gibraltar. 

4. Far Cry New Dawn ​(2019)

Dive into a transformed vibrant post-apocalyptic Hope County, Montana, 17 years after a global nuclear catastrophe. Join fellow survivors and lead the fight against the dangerous new threat the Highwaymen, and their ruthless leaders The Twins, Mickey and Lou.

5. Afterparty ​(2019) 

Play as Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in Hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink Satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to Earth.

6. Mafia 3 ​(2016)

After years of combat in Vietnam, Lincoln Clay is devastated when his surrogate family, the black mob, is betrayed and killed by the Italian Mafia. Determined to get revenge, Lincoln builds a new family and blazes a path of revenge through the Mafioso responsible. 

7. Prototype 2 ​(2012)

Play as Sgt James Heller, infected with the Blacklight virus and a husband to a deceased wife and child. Left as a soldier simply to die, you’ll go on a quest to destroy the Blacklight virus with unparalleled new shapeshifting powers.

8. The Walking Dead ​(2012)

Set in the world of Robert Kirkman’s award-winning comic book series, the Walking Dead, you’ll play as Lee Everett, a convicted criminal. In a world devastated by the undead, Lee seems to have been given a chance at redemption when faced with protecting an orphaned girl named Clementine.