"Black Life: A Canadian History"
"Black Life: A Canadian History", a sweeping eight-part docuseries exploring the rich history of the Black experience in Canada, has been green-lit by CBC. The series (8x60) produced by Studio 112 in association with Northwood Entertainment, and Ugly Duck, is set to premiere on CBC and CBC Gem in 2023.
In addition to Leslie Norville (showrunner) and Northwood Entertainment’s Miranda de Pencier, an exceptional cadre of creative talent, activists, and historical and cultural consultants helm this epic television event. Philanthropist and NHL All-Star P.K. Subban (Ugly Duck Productions) is on board to executive produce as is multi-hyphenate Nelson George, and co-executive producer and Black Lives Matter (Canada) co-founder Sandy Hudson.
Norville and de Pencier have also assembled an unparalleled team of consulting producers and writers to bring this complex and riveting story to life. The consulting producers, who have a substantial and ongoing role in shaping the series, include former Governor General the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, rapper and broadcaster Shad (Shadrach Kabango), and activist Ravyn Wngz.
"Black Life: A Canadian History" seeks to inform audiences of the vital role that Black Canadians have played in shaping the country, while presenting an unvarnished examination of the picture mainstream culture has painted of Canada as a sanctuary. While tracing the complex and hopeful stories of Black Canada, the series reveals the truths of a history fraught with violence, racism, hardship, and perseverance. Black Life: A Canadian History illuminates the struggles and triumphs of Black Canadians, and celebrates the contributions of both famous and lesser-known individuals. Epic in scope, the series spans more than 400 years with an eye towards contemporary issues, culture, politics, music, art, and sports.
“The docuseries will be an honest and nuanced look at Black Canadian history – and while some may find this uncomfortable, it’s critical to understand and grapple with the complexities of Canada's past,” said Leslie Norville, showrunner and executive producer. “I couldn’t ask for a more talented team to help bring this rich history to audiences and to explore and celebrate the stories and people whose contributions have shaped the country we know today. Miranda and I are delighted that 'Black Life: A Canadian History' has found a home at CBC and value their support and enthusiasm for the project.”
“One of the many things that attracts me to this project is that it connects events across 400 years of history to the present day,” said Sandy Hudson, co-executive producer. “Reckoning with the past and confronting our present can be a foundation through which we imagine and build liberator Black futures.”
“I can’t wait to share the educational and engrossing stories of Black Life: A Canadian History,” said P.K. Subban, executive producer. “We’re pushing the boundaries of conventional storytelling to create a series that is gripping and dramatic in a way that audiences haven’t seen before. The inclusion of everything from civil rights to sports, and justice to music, is sure to engage viewers across the country and around the globe.”
“CBC is honoured to partner with this remarkable team to bring the untold history of Black Canadians to audiences across the country with authenticity and depth, led by the lived experiences, insight and perspectives of Black storytellers,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC.
CBC is honoured to partner with this remarkable team to bring the untold history of Black Canadians to audiences across the country with authenticity and depth, led by the lived experiences, insight and perspectives of Black storytellers,”” Sally Catto General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC