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We're so close to a summer of beers, beaches and bank holidays, we can almost taste the barbecue charcoal. But before we throw out all our jumpers and jeans in favour of vests and jorts, we have April – month of sudden showers and mountains of chocolate – to get through. Here's what to do, see and watch to carry you through to May in style.

April to do list I Am Not Your Negro

Picture: Allstar

Watch this: I Am Not Your Negro

James Baldwin was an African-American novelist, poet, playwright and activist. He was also a very dapper dresser, but even we’d admit that’s one of the less important reasons to watch Raoul Peck’s Oscar-nominated new documentary (out 7 April). The film collates Baldwin’s public appearances – he was a wonderful polemicist and orator – and the notes for his unfinished final book (voiced by Samuel L Jackson here) and draws uncomfortable parallels between the civil rights struggles of the 60s and today’s America.

April to do list Tate Queer Britain

Picture: Tate Britain

See this: Queer British Art 1861-1967

There’s no averted eyes or closed closet doors here, as the Tate Britain’s major new exhibition (5 April-1 October) explores what it meant to be LGBTQ in an era when it had to be hidden. From portraits of Oscar Wilde and paintings by the Bloomsbury group to David Hockney’s chilled scenes of 70s California, the stories around the pictures are as fascinating as the works themselves. The exhibition, which focuses on artists with an interest in gender fluidity or non-conformity, marks 50 years since the decriminalisation of male homosexuality and promises to be an enlightening, tender, confrontational experience.

April to do list Giggs on tour

Picture: Getty

Go to this: Giggs on tour

It’s fair to say veteran grime MC Giggs is having a big spring. Two guest spots on Drake’s More Life 'Batman, da-na-na-da-na'-ed him up from solid local performer to the hip-hop big leagues. When he’s not repping the UK on the biggest rap releases of the year, you’ll find him on tour, promoting his fourth solo album Landlord. Catch him on a six-date spring jaunt that goes from Bristol, up to Glasgow, and back down to his native London (15-21 April).