Success has not negated my experience of racism, says Idris Elba

Idris Elba has said that his success has not “negated” his experience of racism.

The actor, who was taking part in a livestreamed discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement and the arts, said his parents taught him he had to work harder than his white counterparts in order to be successful.

He said: “Success has not negated racism for me.

Idris Elba comments
(Ian West/PA)

“Asking me about racism is like asking me about how long I have been breathing.”

Elba said the first time black people have “any consciousness around your skin it is usually about racism”.

“That stays with you regardless of whether you become successful or you beat the system,” he said.

During The Reckoning: The Arts And Black Lives Matter event, Elba said his parents instilled in him the idea “that if you want to make it in this world, you have to be twice as good as the white man”.

The Best FIFA Football Awards 2017 – Palladium Theatre
(Adam Davy/PA)

He added that this became like a “mantra” in his head and guided his work ethic.

Even though he was good at football, Elba said he “still applied in cricket because I was always of that mindset”.

“Before you know it you realise you are quite multi-faceted,” he added.

He added that people are realising that to be successful “you have to have your fingers in many pies”.

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