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First Black Britons DVD

Sweet Patootee have produced a DVD learning resource that offers history & citizenship teachers and students, a new understanding of the 'Black Peoples of the Americas' syllabus. Message from the producers:

 "Although we are a small 'Independent', we are making every effort to bring our resource to the attention of educators, students and others sharing diaspora/British history and identity as a possible addition to learning resources in schools (History & Citizenship KS 2-4), and also F.E and H.E levels.

DVD cover 'The First Black Britons' has been added to the catalogue. It is on sale at Borders, WH Smith, HMV... Our DVD can also be purchased using Visa online at distributor's website. Those wishing to use a purchase order should telephone the distributors: Tel: (+44) 01624 816 585, to arrange supply and payment details

Synopsis Originally broadcast on BBC Television, 'The First Black Britons' is a dramatic and compelling narrative brought to life by reconstructions and a wealth of historical sources.

Black-British TV Actor/Comedian Gary Beadle (The Comic Strip Presents, Eastenders...) presents a journey of discovery, from the Napoleonic Wars to the grand imperial age and a struggle for equality. He visits archives, museums and historical sites in Jamaica, Barbados, Liverpool, London and Windsor; revealing a vital missing chapter in the making of our modern world. The incredible hidden history of the West India Regiment. And the unique act of Parliament that established a new class of citizen - Black British.

With the help of Prof. Roger Buckley, University of Connecticut, (author, 'Slaves In Red Coats') we truly feel that we have met our objectives in bringing to light a hidden history of the Americas, in the form of a flexible and groundbreaking resource: a dramatic and compelling narrative that meets curriculum requirements from a multicultural perspective. Our Learning Resource centres on the hidden history of thousands of African men (11,000+ by 1800) lifted from slavery in north America and the Caribbean, to lead a journey to Black citizenship in the New World - as equals of White comrades-in-arms. The West India Regiment (1795-1927):

Illustrated by a wealth of vintage photographs, prints and sketches, an engaging narrative is brought to life by dramatic reconstructions based on first-hand sources: Prime Minister William Pitt (the Younger), his friend William Wilberforce, Queen Victoria, and, the very soldiers who shaped attitudes to race and identity in Britain, Africa and the Americas - central characters of a defining chapter in the making of our modern world.

A total running length of 57-minutes, is designed as 3 x 18" stories, structured as follows: Story 1 'Slaves In Red Coats': How the government of abolitionist Prime Minister, William Pitt (the younger) secretly purchased a slave-army to defeat French and Napoleonic forces in the Americas.

Story 2 'The Queen's Gentlemen': How Britain's first African army won the personal favour of Queen Victoria and carved a unique status for themselves as a new class of citizen - 'Black British'

Story 3 'The Prodigals Return'; How West India Regiment soldiers - 'the sons of slaves' - exacted bloody revenge on the 'Chiefdoms' that sold them into captivity, returning to West Africa to win 2 Victoria Cross medals, in a 'Boy's Own Adventure' of imperial conquest.

For further details of the resource, do please have a look at Sweet Patootee website:

The First Black Britons is having a good response from Race Equality Units, Schools/Ed Authorities, Universities, Museums & Libraries - UK, Canada, Caribbean, USA (the Times Educational Supplement has published a review of the resource (magazine, 13 July 07 - page 41). The documentary is also proving popular with mainstream audiences who enjoy good historical narrative - well told".
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