Black Is The New Black 4 Part Series

First aired on BBC Two, on November 9, 2016. Conceived, directed and the first production of his company Atelier Frederick Ltd (AFL Films).Simon Frederick brought together a selection of exceptional figures drawn from the world of politics, business, culture, religion and scienc, to face the camera and share their experiences of being black and British. Black Is The New Black relies solely on the words spoken by the line-up of distinguished individuals. With no archive or voiceover, their voices resonate with emotion across a wide range of subjects.  The first episode, focuses on arriving and growing up in Britain. This distinguished cast, which includes Naomi Campbell, Sir Trevor McDonald, Thandie Newton, musicians Jazzie B of Soul II Soul and Dizzee Rascal and footballer Les Ferdinand, all tell of how they or their parents came to the UK with an attitude of respect, almost awe of their new home - regarded as the mother country - Great Britain. What they encountered was a whole raft of new experiences: heavy overcoats, smoking chimneys and outright racism, including appalling violence. The programme is a tribute to the dedication of immigrant parents who, with a mixture of pushiness, high expectations, love and firm discipline, helped their children to work hard at school and eventually overcome the challenges of being black in Britain - decades before multiculturalism. By giving a voice to a group of people who collectively illuminate the highs and lows of this small island’s turbulent history, this series is an open and honest conversation about British identity in the 21st Century. Contributors across this four-part series include: Naomi Campbell, Malorie Blackman, Lenny Henry, Trevor McDonald, Reggie Yates, David Harewood, Thandie Newton, Baroness Patricia Scotland, John Sentamu - Archbishop of York, Ozwald Boateng, Alesha Dixon and Tinie Tempah amongst others.

  • Black is the New Black: Trailer - BBC Two

    Programme website: Talented Black Britons describe what it is like to be Black and British today
  • Black Is The New Black

    BITNB Introducing Director Simon Frederick
  • Black Is The New Black

    BITNB Episode 1 Opening sequence
  • Archbishop of York John Sentamu

    Being Carried on the shoulders of others
  • Actor David Harewood

    David Harewood tells his life changing experience as a child going support his favourite football team.
  • Reggie Yates BITNB

    Reggie Yates Black Is The New Black Episode 4

Black History Month is associated with heroes such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, and perhaps Harriet Tubman. But all of these names are American heroes from the 20th century.

What about the people who are making black history today, particularly in the UK?

Black Is The New Black, a new exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery, aims to redress this. Shot by artist and director Simon Frederick, it is the gallery’s largest acquisition of portraits of African and Caribbean people and includes Thandie Newton, Naomi Campbell, Dizzee Rascal, Laura Mvula, Tinie Tempah, Sir Lenny Henry and Sir Trevor McDonald.

Black Is The New Black Exhibition National Portrait Gallery Autumn 2019

A portfolio of photographs of 40 influential black Britons, is to enter the National Portrait collection. The National Portrait Gallery has acquired forty portraits of black Britons chosen for their achievements in politics, business, culture, religion and science, it was announced today, Friday 18 August 2017. It is the Gallery’s largest acquisition of portraits of African -Caribbean sitters into its primary collection and will be the subject of a major display at the Gallery in SeptembeThese include model Naomi Campbell, newsreader and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald, actress Thandie Newton, musicians Jazzie B of Soul II Soul, Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah, footballer Les Ferdinand and recently appointed Editor in Chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful. With the support of OATH, Simon Frederick has offered the entire portfolio of forty prints as a gift to the National Portrait Gallery.Other popular figures include Maggie Aderin-Pocock, presenter of The Sky at Night; David Harewood, celebrated for his role in the Showtime series Homeland; former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, who has explored racism through her writing for children and young adults; Lord Morris, who became the first black leader of a major trade union in 1992; and John Sentamu who was appointed Archbishop of York in 2005, becoming Britain’s first black Archbishop.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘These striking portraits of black British sitters powerfully reflect the diversity and variety of contemporary British achievement in public life. The National Portrait Gallery is delighted to receive Simon Frederick’s very generous gift of photographs.’

Dr Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘Photographing with sensitivity and insight, Simon Frederick has made extraordinary portraits of some of the most influential Britons of our time. We are proud to welcome these works into our collection, where they will be seen, enjoyed, and celebrated for generations to come.’