Back to Ours is releasing the fourth and final part of a hard-hitting four-part series of documentary films by two Black music artists from Hull, Yorkshire.
In Ep 4 of Black Kings Upon Hull, Bax – lead singer with Afro-codhead-skank crossover band Bud Sugar – and Chiedu – grime-influenced rapper and MC with the Lockdown collective – will be discussing their backgrounds growing up on Hull estates and the effect on their personal musical journeys.
Both are making waves as musicians, poets and artists both in and outside their home city, with Chiedu recently announced as one of the recipients of 21 national grants from MOBO/HelpMusicians, and both regular names on music festivals and events across the region.
The episode also welcomes Luther James (lead singer with Death Metal band The Antiquity), Kofi Smiles (BBC Radio Humberside) and Mark Page (Humber Street Sesh) to talk about Black representation in the music industry, in Hull and beyond.
In Episode 1, Bacary and Chiedu revealed what it was really like to grow up Mixed Race and Black on council estates at different ends of their northern home city, as “a product of the working class”, a “product of African heritage” and a “product of Britain”.
Both experienced racism – of the deliberate and the unthinking varieties – on a daily basis in the city that proudly and publicly honours its famous slavery abolitionist son, William Wilberforce. Both have grown up with the fallout of systemic racism and the knowledge that, 22 years after his death in custody on the floor of a Hull police station, the family of Black ex-paratrooper Christopher Alder is still fighting for justice. WATCH EPISODE 1 HERE
Episode 2 explored the story of Christopher, who died while in police custody in April 1998. A coroner’s jury decided he was unlawfully killed, and misconduct and manslaughter charges were later brought against five Humberside Police officers. WATCH EPISODE 2 HERE
Episode 3 talked to young people, teachers and educators about the education system – are Hull’s young Black people being fairly represented? What’s the reality of growing up Black and Mixed Race in the city? And the N-word – is it ever acceptable to say, in either music or conversation? WATCH EPISODE 3 HERE.
Chiedu Oraka said:
“This experience has been life changing.
“We’ve really ignited conversations that weren’t happening before in local Hull communities. Making this documentary has nabled me to open up about topics and personal experiences that have affected my life. I left myself vulnerable, but it was all for a greater cause.
“The next generation of Black and Mixed Race kids don’t need to feel alone any more. They now have the floor to do what they want and not feel ostracised.
“What a journey it’s been and I’m glad I got to share it with my brother Bax.”
Bacary Mundoba said:
“It’s been a privilege to have worked on this project, not only to get a deeper insight into my good friend Chiedu and his life, but also I feel like I’ve discovered a lot about myself.
“We’ve met some amazing people and had some deep discussions, sometimes difficult, but ultimately very productive and worthwhile.
“I really hope this is the start of something great and I look forward to working with Chiedu and the BtO team very soon.”
Louise Yates, Director of Back to Ours, said:
“When we first started talking about this project, I was immediately excited about Chiedu’s vision of exploring the Black Yorkshire experience and I also loved how Bax wanted to discuss being Black or Mixed Race, Working Class, and brought up on a Hull council estate.
“From the off they were just so bold and brave, particularly in opening up and being so honest about their own lives.
“The outcome has been phenomenal; the journey they’ve taken us all on and the conversations they’ve started will have a lasting impact on the city.
“They’re not only amazing musicians, they’re change makers, and I feel so proud – as do all of the team – to have worked with them on this.”
[Christina Lewis – Back to Ours]