The four 38-minute films included on this DVD were originally made for Channel 4 at the beginning of the 1980s. They have been remastered and digitised because of recent interest shown by young people in the experiences of racism and the battles fought by their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.
The films chart milestones in Black people’s fight for justice in the UK, showing African-Caribbeans and Asians coming together in different ways and at different periods to carry on a common struggle.
1. ‘Tiger Bay is my home’ looks at the early Black communities in 19th century Cardiff, documents race riots in 1919 and follows the community through the 1930s depression and service during World War Two.
2. ‘A town under siege’ focuses on how Southall organised to resist racist and fascist attacks between 1976 and 1981.
3. ‘From you were Black, you were out’ describes conditions in the 1950s in Ladbroke Grove, a decaying inner area of London.
4. ‘A common history’ focuses on discrimination in employment, particularly the dispute at Imperial Typewriters in Leicester, in 1974.
There is a 16-page booklet accompanying the DVD which can also be downloaded as a PDF from the IRR website.
The films could be used in History and Citizenship lessons, or in equality and diversity training. For classroom use, however, it would help to have more detailed guidance on specific curriculum links and suggested activities. As they stand, at present, teachers might need to spend a lot of time to develop lessons based around these films.
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