Darrell M. Newton
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A Black eye
in Paving the empire road
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This chapter focuses on interviews that feature the contemporary perspectives of Black Britons working within the London television market. Issues for discussion with the interviewees included representations of race and class, programming and opportunities for minorities, empowerment and opportunity, Americanisation as an influence, the birth of Black-owned Identity Television, presence, diversity and the future of Black Britons on BBC television. Subjects include recent BBC Director of Multicultural Programming Jan Oliver, cultural critic Stuart Hall, actor Treva Etienne, journalist Neema Kambona, BBC presenter Brenda Emmanus, journalist Kadija George-Sesay and BBC Diversity Manager Cyril Husbands. Follow-up interviews years later continue these discussions of, among other issues, newer programmes, current representations, and future possibilities for diverse programming. By comparison, their concerns exemplify the challenges still facing these professionals of colour when dealing with the hegemony and patronage of the BBC and the British television industry. Through a series of open-ended questions, media professionals comment on the BBC and its broadcast policies. These discussions occurred within the 1990s and were considered a turning point by some for racial representations on British television. Each question and subsequent response reflect decades of personal experiences with the service.

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Paving the empire road

BBC television and Black Britons


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