Learn about Black History - resources as recommended by our historians!

This Black History Month, why not use this specially collated list of resources to learn about Black History? Our wonderful staff and students have suggested some of the best resources out there...

Black history month

 As recommended by...

The UCL History BAME Network and it's staff facilitator, Dr Jagjeet Lally 



  • Africa Turns the Page: a wonderful documentary about “African” writers from the early twentieth century all the way to the present that will inspire and give you plenty of reading ideas!
  • I am not Your Negro (2016): documentary by Raoul Peck. The famed writer, James Baldwin, tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, ‘Remember This House’: Available to buy or rent on YouTube or on Amazon Prime.
  • Rest in Power (2018): six-episode series documents the shooting of Trayvon Martin and explores the racial tension in the United States that was brought about in its wake. Available on Amazon Prime. 
  • Black and British: A Forgotten History with David Olusoga - various episodes available on Iplayer. 
  • Selma (2014): A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. Available on Amazon Prime. 
  • Akala’s Oxford Union address


See & Experience...

As recommended by...

Professor Margot Finn

  • Black History Collections in the IHR Wohl Library

Access here: https://www.history.ac.uk/library/collections/black-history
The IHR Wohl Library collection centres around published primary sources and guides, supported by reference and some secondary works.

  • Our Migration Story 

Access here: https://www.ourmigrationstory.org.uk/
This website presents the often untold stories of the generations of migrants who came to and shaped the British Isles.

  • Runnymede Trust 

Access here: https://www.runnymedetrust.org/
The Runnymede Trust is a leading Race Equality UK think tank. 

As recommended by...

Professor Matthew Smith

  • Legacies of British Slave-Ownership Database 

Access here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/
This database, which was created by The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership at UCL, provides an excellent resource for researchers who are interested in finding out about British slave-holders.  

  • Beyond a Boundary

Access here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2eatQ7A9e8
1976 film about the Trinidadian Marxist intellectual C. L. R. James, who wrote the book Beyond a Boundary (1963), which is a memoir on cricket. 

  • James Baldwin and Nikki Giovani, a conversation

Access here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZmBy7C9gHQ
Conversation between James Baldwin and Nikki Giovani, taped in London 1971

  • PBS Egalite for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution (2009)

Access here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOGVgQYX6SU
The true story of the most successful slave uprising in world history comes to the screen as filmmaker Nolan Walker explores the Haitian Revolution. 

  • The 1619 Project

Access here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html
The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.

  • Slave Voyages Database

Access here: https://www.slavevoyages.org/ 
This digital memorial raises questions about the largest slave trades in history and offers access to the documentation available to answer them.

As recommended by...

Dr Tim Gibbs 

  • BBC Four: Africa's Great Civilisations 

Access here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b5b4vy
Henry Louis Gates Jr takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. 

  • So who was Roy Francis? A Squidge Rugby Deep Dive

Access here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRX27awOb6g&t=308
The passionate (almost entirely positive) commentary from South African rugby fans – a country where the shadow of apartheid is still very heavy - gives you a sense of the historical significance of the debates. 

As recommended by...

Dr Chloe Ireton

  • Black Atlantics in the Global South: Primary Sources in Conversation  

Access here: https://blackatlantics.wordpress.com/
This website has been developed for the public history project Black Atlantics in the Global South: Primary Sources in Conversation. Members of the undergraduate research seminar  “Black Atlantics in the Global South,” led by Dr. Chloe Ireton, contribute short primary source-based essays that seek to engage with the public about their ongoing research projects.

As recommended by...

Dr Keren Weitzberg 

  • Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation

Access here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/racism-racialisation/ 
The UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation explores the impact of racism - scientific, metaphysical and cultural.

As recommended by...

Dr Benedetta Rossi 

  • The Studies in the History of the African Diaspora (SHADD) website

Acces here: https://profbrunov.wixsite.com/shadd
The Studies in the History of the African Diaspora (SHADD) website, also named after Mary Ann Shadd (an anti-slavery activist and the first Black female newspaper editor in North America), Studies in the History of the African Diaspora – Documents hosts primary documents and archival inventories that are housed at the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas at York University (Canada).  

  • The Freedom Narratives website 

Access here: https://www.freedomnarratives.org/
The Freedom Narratives website contains testimonies of West Africans from the times of slavery, including autobiographical accounts. 

  • Equiano's World: Gustavus Vassa and the Abolition of the Slave Trade 

Access here: www.equianosworld.org
Equiano's World: Gustavus Vassa and the Abolition of the Slave Trade sheds light on the life and work of an inspiring African author and abolitionist.

  • DATAS: Documenting Africans in Trans-Atlantic Slavery

Access here: www.datasproject.org studies
DATAS: Documenting Africans in Trans-Atlantic Slavery studies African names and ethnonyms to reconstruct the histories of those enslaved across the Atlantic and Americas. It contains a 'resources' page with links to further online databases and valuable websites based on scholarly research on African and Atlantic history: https://documentingafricans.blogspot.com/p/resources.html

As recommended by...

Dr Michael Collins 

  • The Stuart Hall Project: John Akomfrah 

Access here: https://vimeo.com/205226601 
Read the BFI interview with John Akomfrah here: https://www2.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/interviews/stuart-hall-project-john-akomfrah-interview
The Stuart Hall Project is a 2013 British film written and directed by John Akomfrah centred on cultural theorist Stuart Hall, who is regarded as one of the founding figures of the New Left and a key architect of Cultural Studies in Britain.