This morning, I sat on the couch with my daughter and watched wealthy, social media famous and entrepreneurial Black Britons of Nigerian and Ghanian heritage flaunt their wealth, talk about their love lives and work through the generational differences between them and their parents. This constructed reality show is the TV I’ve been waiting for. A reality show that brings drama, tears and real life highs, but through the lens of a culture I recognise. The show, the Highlife, as many of you will know, was part of Channel 4’s #BlackToFront Friday programming - a day when all programmes and adverts featured Black people.
I’ll be honest, when I heard Channel 4 were dedicating 24 hours to programming solely featuring Black talent, I was sceptical. I heard words like 'initiative' and 'project' which made me feel like the channel was doing the bare minimum in terms of representation and that this was seen as some sort of good will, corporate social responsibility. The truth is that we as viewers and those who were part of the line up deserved more than that. Programmes and adverts featuring Black people shouldn’t be seen as a charity project, so I felt torn. I was ready to celebrate the Black people who were making this programming happening, but reluctant to praise Channel 4, because the fact that we still need a day to shoehorn in Black talent on our screens and behind the camera is still not good enough.