This is a 4-part documentary mini-series about the long history of Africans in Britain. The show hosted by historian David Olusoga leaves behind cast iron plaques to commemorate important black history throughout each episode. The first episode "First Encounters" examines the earliest Africans who were part of the Roman army occupying England. Lost African communities are rediscovered, long forgotten African ancestry is remembered, and ends with pre-colonial Africa. The second episode "Freedom" examines slavery in the empire including the lucrative slave trade, the American revolution, and Sierra Leone. The third episode "Moral Mission" takes a look at the post-abolition empire. It is not all peace and harmony. There is revolt in Jamaica as most property is still held by whites. The great moral Victorian mission to end slavery takes the form of the Royal Navy's The West African Squadron. The show follows a young slave given to Queen Victorian and finally the devastated cotton trade during the American Civil War. The fourth episode "The Homecoming" takes a look at race relationship in the last century in Britain during war and peace.
This is like a college course into slavery and Britain. The first episode isn't much. I already knew about the African troops in the Roman army. If anything, white skin denoted barbarism back then. None of it is surprising but it is interesting to see evidence of black people. The second episode gets a bit interesting essentially looking at the American revolution from the British side. It does fail to mention the Book of Negroes. If that lady knew the Crowd paid for the slaves, it may push her more one way rather than the other. The third episode is the best and the history I know the least about. The fourth episode is reminiscent of many other modern racism and isn't surprising. I like that this series take a well known subject matter and looks at it from a different angle.
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