What is 1000 Years A Slave?
On the charge sheet of human history, few events have created such an indelible stain as slavery. Yet few histories are more important for us to understand. 1000 Years A Slave is a new four-part documentary faces from Channel 5 in which many well-known faces find out more about their family history connections to slavery, and how slavery stained our past and shaped the modern world.
When is 1000 Years A Slave on TV?
The first two episodes of 1000 Years a Slave, ‘Agents of Change’ and ‘A Global Trade’, are available now on My5. The next two episodes – ‘Fighting for Freedom’ and ‘The Reckoning’ – are showing at 10pm on Channel 5 on Tuesday 3 November and Tuesday 10 November.
What is 1000 Years A Slave about?
The famous faces tracing their family history links to slavery on 1000 Years a Slave include actors David Harewood (Homeland), Ray Fearon (Fleabag) and Hugh Quarshie (Holby City), plus Karen Gibson, founder of the gospel Kingdom Choir, which performed at Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018. The second episode, for example, features US newsreader Shannon LaNier, very likely the descendant of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemings. Jefferson owned slaves yet spoke out against the trade, which he outlawed when he became president.
In the UK, the series finds Bristol’s mayor, Marvin Rees, looking back at the 1963 bus boycott that helped end the colour bar operated by the Bristol Omnibus Company, while David Olusoga visits the statue of Edward Colston in the museum where it is displayed after Black Lives Matter protestors toppled it from its plinth and threw it into the city’s harbour last year.
Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine