180991 - the time tunnel podcasts featuring celebrities and social issues rediscovered
This is me thirty odd years ago. 180991, that’s the date when I was asked with my co-presenter Sheryl Simms to present and produce Black London on the BBC’s local radio station in London, BBC GLR.
Black London was a focal point for issues affecting Black and brown people. I was a fresh MA graduate, abandoning a career in Chemistry and maths, given an opportunity to tell stories in our voice and interview a spectrum of figures, international and domestic — from racism to empowerment, social, tech and politics.
Sheryl and I were freelancers earning something like £25 to present the show. Mostly all the items e.g. interviews were produced from our own pockets because of the love for what we were doing.
Whilst the station dumped the programme’s recording in a skip, during lockdown I came across hours of it in boxes and suitcases in my garage. Working together with Jose Velazquez, MA an archive producer, the archive was submitted to FIAT/IFTA — an international organisation.
We competed against eight different international media and film companies across the world pitching why the archive needed to be digitised. The outcome was that this find, plus other related themes, were deemed historically important to be digitised.
For reference FIAT/IFTA were behind the digitisation of the Rivonia, Nelson Mandela Trial Tapes. This archive represents an era, but also threads the future as explained in the previous post.
We look forward to sharing it with you, produced as podcasts etc. I’ve just been accepted at an academic conference looking at the history of the BBC to speak about the collection. Click here for the pitch.
Here’s an excerpt from the batch, an interview with the great musician Fela Kuti
and the Godfather of Black film Melvin “Block” Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss
More on what I do now here as one of the UK’s leading videojournalists according to multiple books, and a leading in creative tech from several experts, and having won multiple awards. e.g. viewmgazine.tv