Home News CBC Honours Emancipation Day

CBC Honours Emancipation Day

CBC Honours Emancipation Day, image,
Publicity still for Book of Negroes courtesy of CBC.

CBC Honours Emancipation Day
by Staff

(July 26, 2020 – Toronto, ON) CBC has scheduled a series of programs and specials to commemorate the abolition of slavery across the British Empire on August 1, known to many as Emancipation Day. The Slavery Abolition Act was passed in 1833 and came into force the following year, on 1 August 1834.

Everything begins tonight at 6:30 p.m. (7 NT) with CBC Arts: Exhibitionists – Reflection And Resistance. Hosted by Amanda Parris, the program is dedicated to Black artists who are trying to create in the midst of an uprising. Then Asha Tomlinson will host Being Black in Canada, a special hour of news, current affairs and arts leading into a rebroadcast of the hit mini-series The Book of Negroes, including new interviews and insights with author Lawrence Hill and the mini-series’ creators and cast. Being Black in Canada starts at 7 p.m. (7:30 NT)

Produced by Conquering Lion Pictures and Out of Africa Entertainment, The Book of Negroes originally premiered on CBC TV in January 2015 to record audiences and went on to win ten Canadian Screen Awards. The series follows young Aminata Diallo (Shailyn Pierre-Dixon), who is abducted from her village in West Africa and forced into a slave coffle where she must endure a horrific ocean crossing. Brought to a South Carolina plantation, she makes herself useful by using midwifery skills learned at her mother’s side, all the while keeping the attention of her jealous slave master, Robinson Appleby (Greg Bryk), at bay. Soon after Aminata reencounters Chekura (Lyriq Bent), a fellow slave from West Africa, and they are married in a clandestine ceremony. When their first baby is brutally abducted and sold by Appleby she vows to return one day to her homeland. The mini-series also stars Allan Hawco, Jane Alexander, Cara Ricketts, Sandra Caldwell, Ben Chaplin and Oscar®-winning actors Lou Gossett Jr. and Cuba Gooding Jr. The Book of Negroes is executive produced, directed and co-written by Clement Virgo, from the novel by Lawrence Hill, who co-wrote the script. It is produced by Damon D’Oliveira.

The first of three 120 minute episodes of The Book of Negroes airs tonight Sunday, July 26 through Tuesday, July 28 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC TV and CBC GEM.

On Saturday, August 1, CBC Arts will partner with Ngozi Paul and Emancipation Arts to present Free Up!, the annual youth-led celebration of Emancipation Day featuring music, theatre, spoken word and dance.

The two-part documentary series Jackie Robinson will be broadcast on Sunday, August 2 and Monday August 3 at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Directed by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon for PBS, tells the story of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, who rose from humble origins to break baseball’s colour barrier and waged a fierce lifelong battle for first-class citizenship for all African Americans that transcends even his remarkable athletic achievements. A fierce integrationist, Robinson used his immense fame to speak out against the discrimination he saw on and off the field, angering fans, the press, and even teammates who had once celebrated him for “turning the other cheek.” After baseball, he was a widely read newspaper columnist, divisive political activist and tireless advocate for civil rights, who later struggled to remain relevant as diabetes crippled his body and a new generation of leaders set a more militant course for the civil rights movement.

And it all starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. (7 NT )