Episode

The Documentary

BBC World Service

News & Politics, Society & Culture, History

Chart Positions

Society & Culture 80
History 28

The best of BBC World Service documentaries and other factual programmes.

Website

Something Old, Something New

February 17th, 2016

Episode 1199 of 1366 episodes

What happens when your Dad's an African-American soul star and your Mum's a music-loving girl from a Sheffield council estate in the north of England? Are your roots on the terraces at a Sheffield United Football match, or in the stylings of a Spike Lee film? For writer and photographer Johny Pitts, whose parents met in the heyday of Northern Soul on the dance floor of the legendary King Mojo club, how he navigates his black roots has always been an issue. Not being directly connected to the Caribbean or West African diaspora culture, all he was told at school was that his ancestors were slaves. In this programme, Johny heads off to the USA, to trace his father's musical migration and to tell an alternative story of Black British identity. From Pittsmore in Sheffield, to Bedford Stuyvesant in New York, and all the way down to South Carolina where his grandmother picked cotton, Johny Pitts makes a journey of self-discovery.

Featured Podcast

Listen