Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

Radio 1Xtra mix music, history and icons to celebrate Black History Month

BBC Radio 1Xtra will mark Black History Month this October, with a month-long celebration of music icons (from Stevie Wonder to Dizzee Rascal), black cinema, major historical moments and classic music from over the decades in Old School Sunday - a weekly show which will celebrate black music through the decades.

Beginning on Friday 1 October, the Breakfast Show sees Trevor and Gemma (7-10am) celebrating a black history icon every Friday morning including Jazzy B, Floella Benjamin and Norman Jay.

Trevor Nelson says: "I, like most of my peers, have similar icons from Dr Martin Luther King to Muhammad Ali. What Black History Month allows us to do is celebrate icons from all industries and at all levels. This year, I will try to shine a light on a few whom are close to home and still striving in their chosen fields."

A more personal focus of the Black History Month celebrations will be a selection of 30-second interviews, where famous black success stories will discuss their lives from a young age and their lifetime achievements, before unveiling their identities. These personal snapshots will feature across the daytime schedule, with each programme showcasing a different individual each day.

The celebration will also highlight seminal moments from R&B, UKG, drum and bass, dancehall and hip hop by choosing albums that altered the musical landscape at the time of their release and playing them out in full. From Monday 25 – Friday 29 October (10am-1pm), listeners will be able to hear, Stevie Wonder – Songs In The Key of Life (Monday), Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Day Corner (Tuesday), Roni Size and drum and bass collective Reprazent – New Forms (Wednesday), Buju Banton – Till Shilloh (Thursday) and, to finish the week, Kanye West – The College Dropout (Friday).

Elsewhere on the station, Max’s Friday Film Review (1-4pm) will be paying weekly homage to a Black Cinema film; and each week DJ Edu (Monday, 2-4am, from 17 October, 1-4am) will have a specialist Black History Month feature focusing on a different historical theme, starting with Nigeria's 50th Independence anniversary on 3 October.

Old School Sunday kicks off on 3 October with 12 hours of music between 7am and 7pm. From the Sixties through to the Noughties, every Sunday in October will celebrate a different decade of old school black music so expect to hear anything from Soul To Soul, Chaka Khan, Roy Ayers and Michael Jackson, to Jay-Z, Mary J Blige, Lauryn Hill and Craig David. There will also be guest interviews and an old school themed music sound clash each week. Trevor and Gemma will join in the old school vibe every Friday too – as they party to a different decade with their weekly on-air parties throwing to Old School Sunday at the weekend.

Willber Willberforce, Head of Programmes, BBC Radio 1Xtra, says: "The annual month-long celebration allows BBC Radio 1Xtra to be a centre for major contributors to the black music scene. We also showcase individual achievements in black history and highlight the beauty of black culture through the decades."

ER

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