Under The Microscope: The BlackInTimePod


More than ever, there’s a growing number of talented content-creators finding their way behind mics and onto streaming platforms. You’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the list of options to choose from but in truth, as is the case with any media, it’s about finding what genre suits you best. If part of your interest extends to history with a black lens then you might have reason to add the Black In Time Pod to your collection.

Having launched in November 2020 the podcast is still young, but in providing a weekly overview of crucial events in Black British history it has the potential to fill a void for on-the-go historical exploration of the culture. What's most impressive is the level of consistency of the project. The episodes arrive on a weekly basis and provide a breakdown of genuinely notable events to have occurred on each of the days within that said week. Naturally, if you have even thought of listening to the podcast you'll have done so on the strength of its content. The mesh of landmarks across art, sport, music, civil rights, and politics makes for a good mix of interesting achievements without ever being overly invested in one.

The podcast's strong audio quality and good production value also help to keep you engaged. The choice for roughly 15 minutes per episode undoubtedly plays a role in this too because it serves the purpose of the project perfectly. In siding with brevity, the host is able to condense the topics for each day just enough for viewers to acknowledge, understand, and digest the content without ever feeling too overwhelmed. Given time and depending on the objectives for the project, you do wonder whether there's enough here to eventually venture into visual territory - that's assuming it's even needed. As the creator and host of the podcast Olivia Hylton or 'Liv' reminds the listener at the beginning of every episode, the podcast was the result of a challenge she had set herself. That challenge was to find something that happened on each day in Black British history. So far, it's a challenge she has met exceedingly well.

She's not alone in her efforts to chronicle this either. 2020 ended with the depiction of Leroy Logan in Small Axe and the story of the Mangrove Nine receiving national acclaim. Likewise, the second edition of 100 Great Black Britons which we discussed with Patrick Vernon went on to become a bestseller after its release.

Small Axe was released at the end of last year to critical acclaim.

Liv's work here however is timely. With lockdown resuming it provides another space for Black British history to be told, most encouragingly of all through a medium well-served to cater to youth. By taking a simple yet steady approach to the podcast she's able to highlight the full range of gems among the litany of Black British achievement. You're left with a sense of the scale of Black achievement on these isles as well as an appreciation for the many others which remain under wraps. It may very well have begun as a personal challenge, but it's one in which we've been made better for by being a part of.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify, now.

Mayowa Ayodele


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