Thursday, November 12, 2009

Not Forgotten - Soldiers of Empire

While on the subject of Ian Hislop, I very much enjoyed his Not Forgotten series which was shown on Channel 4 several years ago, in which he investigated different people who had served during the First World War.

He has since made additional programmes, which are now being aired. On Monday night, I watched the episode about Empire troops, i.e. those from African and Caribbean countries, India, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It was made to the same high standard as the earlier series.

Empire troops are often mentioned only as a footnote to the main event, but Hislop’s programme showed footage of Black troops on the front line, while he interviewed the grandchildren of one Caribbean man who had served on the Western Front.

I had previously seen the story of the Black men from the Caribbean who sailed on a ship via the North Pole but were not given winter uniforms. Many of them had their limbs amputated due to frostbite.

Those troops who arrived fit to serve were not allowed to fight, or even carry arms. They were put to doing heavy manual labour such as moving large amounts of ammunition, and were under fire from the enemy but were not given the means to defend themselves. Seeing the footage is always a strong experience.

Another excellent programme, well worth watching.

I also recently attended a screening of “A Small Island”, a BBC programme based on the novel by Andrea Levy, at the Imperial War Museum. I shall blog about this soon.

On Sunday 15th November, Tony Warner of Black History Walks will be doing a presentation on How Black People Won World War II. Come along if you can - I'm sure it will be both educational and entertaining. Click here for more details.

It is so important for us to have a sense of our own history and cultural heritage, and our contribution to world history. This is an essential part of having high self-esteem and confidence. For more about this, see The Key to Confidence. See also, Success Strategies for Black People.

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