Black and Scottish

BBC Scotland (1 x 30 mins)

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What does it mean to be Black and Scottish? New director Stewart Kyasimire seeks out a range of Black Scots of different ages and from diverse backgrounds to hear some compelling answers.

Stewart grew up in Glasgow in the 1980s, at a time where he felt there just weren’t any obvious black and Scottish role models.  Now a father himself, he is determined that his 8-year-old mixed-race daughter Yasmin grows up with a clear sense of black and Scottish identity. 

So, in this film, he brings together prominent black Scots from all over Scotland. Among these inspirational role models are:  

*NcutiGatwa, Dunfermline-raised son of Rwandan refugees, now star of Netflix hit series Sex Education. 

*Sir Geoff Palmer, Scotland’s first Black Professor 

*X-Factor semi-finalists the Cutkelvins, descendants of one of the 15,000 Belizean woodcutters who came to Britain to help in the war effort.  

*Stewart’s cousin, A Place in the Sun Presenter and Celebrity MasterChef contestant Jean Johansson.  

*Graham Campbell, Scotland’s first Rasta Councillor. 

Together these eminent role models tell their stories, passing on their experience to Yasmin and other young black and mixed-race Scots. How did they get to where they are? What challenges have they had to overcome? Are their experiences different depending on whether they are of African or Caribbean descent? Black or mixed-race? Brought up in Scotland’s big cities or small towns? What do they love about Scotland? What do they hope for the next generation? And what should you do if someone asks to touch your hair?  

By bringing together these disparate and diverse voices, this film helps to build on the community of Black Scots and passes on a legacy not only to Yasmin and other young black and mixed-race Scots, but also the wider Scottish community. The message is clear: We are black Scots, and this is what it means to be Black and Scottish.