Monumental : Black Bristol After Colston

There’s been a whole lot of firsts this month. First of all I may or may not have embarked on my presenting debut doing a doc for BBC World whilst in the ends of Lockdown…
Monumental is out today on BBC News and BBC World

I then cannot confirm or deny whether I had my live TV debut on BBC One talking about the programme last night on Points West
Speaking with Alex Lovell on BBC One, July 17th 2020

I think the vids speak for themselves and honestly I’m too nervous to be extra wordy but luckily the BBC put together this press release which I will now lazily regurgitate for a bit of an idea about the doc, what’s in it and why you might want to watch it. Enjoy!

Toppling of Colston statue features in powerful BBC doc

A one-off BBC doc unearths the racial undercurrents in Bristol that led to the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston.

Monumental – Bristol After Colston, airing tomorrow (Saturday) on the BBC News Channel and iPlayer, sees guest presenter Ngaio Anyia finding out the history behind the headlines.

Ngaio was a student at Colston’s Girls School. When she found out about Colston’s slavery links, she refused to go to the school’s annual celebration of him.

Ngaio speaks to Aisha Thomas, one of just 26 black secondary school teachers in Bristol; Michael ‘Quess’ Moore, a leader of the US’s Take ‘Em Down movement, and Bristol councillor and former Lord Mayor Cleo Lake. She also speaks to:

Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium, the great grandniece of King Leopold II whose colonisation of the Congo resulted in the deaths of millions of African people, who says:

·         “All European colonisers should apologise. We might have a particularly violent and criminal past in Belgium, but I think it’s shared by all the European powers.”

Bristol commander for Avon and Somerset Police, Superintendent Andy Bennett, who opted not to intervene when the statue was toppled. He talks about his time in the ‘intuitionally racist’ Metropolitan Police in the ‘90s and how it is spurring him to improve race relations in Bristol:

·         “What I saw often was police engaging in communities in a way that they didn’t consider them as people.” (talking about his time in the Met)

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, who says:

·         Health professionals advised his white mother to have an abortion rather than have a mixed race baby in the ‘70s.

·         “I grew up in Bristol as a racially fractured city so I’m a mixed race kid in a city where people are driving past you calling you a coon or a wog and other worse language than that.”

·         On how Bristol must improve: “Bristol presents a fantastic story to the outside world: two world-class universities, thriving creative sector, foodie city, progressive politics, European green capital, aerospace industry. All that stuff is true, but it’s also true that people who look like me are born destined to die earlier, to get sick earlier, to get a poor educational outcome, to end up in mental health institutions or end up in jail. You cannot have whole reconciled relationships while that background noise is going on.”

The documentary airs at 1.30pm and 5.30pm on the BBC News Channel, BBC World and iPlayer on Saturday 18 July and will be available afterwards on iPlayer.

It was produced in Bristol by BBC Inside Out West.

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