Well, actually Honey, it’s about half of it

Small Axe is great: now let’s have some films about black life outside London
Lanre Bakare

The ‘authentic’ black British experience doesn’t begin and end in the capital. It’s time the UK film industry woke up to that

Begin and end perhaps not.

There are about 2 million blacks in the UK, about 3% of the population. Half and half African and Afro-Caribbean.

Half of those are in London. So, the median, mean and modal black experience of the UK is London. Seems a reasonable enough target for the film industry, no?

32 thoughts on “Well, actually Honey, it’s about half of it”

  1. I haven’t watched any of the Small Axe movies. (My remaining) life is too short. But can anyone who has watched them tell me this: how many white actors appeared as pretend blacks in the crowd scenes?

  2. “Black life outside London”

    From my experience that would be: ENT surgeon and city councillor. That’s going to be an interesting film.

    Ooo, oo, wait! Just last week, one more: GP.

    I’m a horrible racist, I’ve only met three black people outside London in five decades.

  3. I clocked several black faces visiting my part of South West England around Easter time. A product of Annabelle and Victoria disappearing to Uni and returning to family home for the holiday with ethnic male companion and 2-3 coffee-coloured offspring. And that was it till last week, when I was surprised to see two black faces in local town (driving 911 Carrera). Hardly a multi-cultural region worthy of film industry attention.

  4. Around 99% of Black people in the UK live in urban areas. Indeed the word urban has been used as a euphemism for black for years. They are rarely seen in the country. They think we’re all racists out here. They also think those TV ads represent UK society as a whole.

    What is the viewership for Small Axe? Anyone know?

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Bernie G. December 3, 2020 at 9:27 am – “I was surprised to see two black faces in local town (driving 911 Carrera).”

    You know, there is so much I could say about that. But virtually none of it sounds anything short of too racist for me to say in public.

    Now, of course, I am pretty sure we have had a lot of films about Black life that involves Black neurosurgeons, Black scientists, Black police chiefs. And none about Black drug dealers or car thieves.

    So no doubt the rate of Black crime is going down as the media bravely fights racist stereotypes, right?

  6. I met Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones down here in Dorset (he makes good sausages) – think his farm is in Devon. But branding his produce as “The Black Farmer” does rather suggest that it isn’t common. And I think he made his money in TV first, before he moved out to the country.

  7. “Small Axe is great”

    Haven’t watched any of it but I’d bet it isn’t.

    Complex issues drawn using a chunky crayon with the subtlety of a train falling off a cliff. The media is falling over itself to show just how woke and worthy it is.

  8. “The ‘authentic’ black British experience doesn’t begin and end in the capital. ”

    Correct. It began in Africa, didn’t it? Often still does.

  9. Red Dwarf never got any smegging diversity awards, did it?

    Yet the cast contained a mixed race working class slob, a black guy who loves clothes and himself, an autistic robot, a computer with the IQ of a PE teacher, and an incel.

  10. Steve, thought that about Red Dwarf a while ago. Never once noticed the ethnicity of the characters, just the great humour (my favourite Cat line: “Call that dancing? I’ve seen people on fire move better than that”).
    Now, every advert (even the cartoon ones!) and tv programme features an ethnic or mixed race couple and it’s just so obvious .

  11. Addolff – I tell you one thing. I’ve been to a parallel universe, I’ve seen time running backwards, I’ve played pool with planets, and I’ve given birth to twins, but I never thought in my entire life I’d taste an edible Pot Noodle.

  12. “The ‘authentic’ black British experience doesn’t begin and end in the capital. It’s time the UK film industry woke up to that..”

    Human experience doesn’t begin and end in the half-dozen traditional Hollywood settings. but the entire film industry is unaware of that, and the actors won’t live anywhere else…

    There. Fixed that for you.

  13. Best RD quote-Lister-leaving for his ideal job on another ship.
    “over our years service together i’ve come to regard you as ….. people i once met.”

  14. Thee’s a black MFH somewhere isn’t there? Related to someone famous? But yeah, remarkable because it’s rare.

  15. Used to work with a lovely lad called Richard (born in Ghana) a few years ago. He and his English wife have a small-holding in Hertfordshire. He was more English country gent than anyone I have ever met – all wax jacket and wellies. Not sure if he ever went on grouse shoots, but you get the picture.

  16. Philip said:
    “There’s a black MFH somewhere isn’t there?”

    I’d forgotten about him. Yes, and he was also a member of the Monday Club and a speechwriter for Alan Clark.

  17. This stuff always feels so dated. There’s an iPhone in your pocket. A PC and editing software is a few hundred quid. You can put it on YouTube. If you’ve got a story to tell, write it and film it. This has never been so democratised.

    There are kids in Nigeria making CG movies with green screen, old smart phones and cheap PCs. If they can do it, so can you.

  18. @dearieme “They’ve got “Vera”. What else do they want?”
    Always wanted to know – is it any good?

  19. Here in the leafy Chilterns, the village is overwhelmingly white, although Wycombe (within walking distance) has lots of Pakistani and (fewer) W Indian families. At the beginning of the year, a new family moved in to the rented house next door, turning out to be black Ugandans. I’m familiar with Ugandan Asians, but didn’t realise that there was a Ugandan diaspora here, too (they have family also living nearby).

    Anyhoo, they’re very pleasant – he’s an engineer working on building projects in London and she stays at home looking after the two kids (3 years and 3 months).

  20. In the article from asiaseen above it states

    Ms Mahmood is currently “collaborating with outdoor clothing and equipment brand Berghaus,”

    Perhaps they’re going to make a “bergka” for her,

    I’ll get my coat.

    Ah but before I go, I saw one comment yesterday on this subject that made me laugh

    “The countryside isn’t racist, but cows are. White supremacist bastards and don’t get me started on the badgers.”

  21. “Always wanted to know – is it any good?”

    Mixed: the lead is super, the stories tend to be gloomy. But then the subject is murder. There’s the odd bit of dry humour.

  22. “now let’s have some films about black life outside London ”

    Not until there are more street robberies, stabbings & drug dealing you won’t. Is lack of enterprise in the black community our fault as well?

  23. Love the comments of Steve, and am also keen on Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones. I love the 2009 G comment when he campaigned for Parliament “would like a ministerial job. But there will never, he thinks, be a black home or foreign secretary or at least not in his lifetime.”

  24. Just been watching a doc on channel 5 about the Dambusters, was good but I noted they were too cowardly to mention the name of Guy Gibsons dog..

  25. @addolff

    We now play a variation on bullshit bingo which is “spot the advert with the white heterosexual married couple with children born within their marriage ”

    Most nights is a steady zero

    Makes you yearn for the Nescafé couple, there’s an advert that would never be made these days

  26. “Now, every advert (even the cartoon ones!) and tv programme features an ethnic or mixed race couple and it’s just so obvious.”

    South Park dealt with it perfectly. The black kid is called “Token” by the others.

    ‘black life outside London’

    ??? Do they live in houses? Speak English? Eat beef?

    The supposition is that blacks are different from everyone else. Their lives are different. Frederick Douglass warned 150+ years ago, difference results in discrimination, even demands it. The Guardian does blacks no favor in profering this schtick.

  27. @dearieme
    Thank you-I shall watch one then.

    Then I’ll watch The Accountant again to get a better idea about the neurodiverse and then the Hitman’s Bodyguard to…well, you know, be entertained.

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