UK Black History Month: David Oyelowo Talks UK’s Denial of Black Culture

David Oyelowo, the star of the upcoming Martin david-oyelowo (1)Luther King movie, “Selma,” called out his home country, the UK, for its lack of representation of black culture on the small and silver screens — saying the UK doesn’t utilize black actors and stories involving black folks.
“There is a bizarre denial of our country’s black history,” he told HuffPostUK. “That’s why I had to move out. I wasn’t represented on the screen.
The British actor turned Hollywood star who received more roles upon moving to Hollywood added, “without history, we don’t have any context for where we are today.”
Oyelowo — who co-starred in “The Paperboy” and “The Butler” — feels as though the States do a better job in portraying black folks throughout history.
“Black history is undeniable in the US – they don’t get away with the whitewash. The proportions of black people in the country are roughly the same [as in the UK], but you’d never know it to look on screen. And it’s worse now than when I lived there.”
He moved to the States after starring in “Spooks” — acknowledging the UK’s attitude towards black culture is worst than South Africa’s — needing to try Hollywood to keep his career going.
“It’s a shaming indictment on us, that we’re in a worse position as regards our representation, and we don’t have that history of oppression,” he said.
Oyelowo pointed out he’s proposed and taken part in action to bring more black actors and roles onscreen to the British film and TV industry.
“It’s a shame that in 2014, that’s what it’s come to, that we have to do that culturally, when black people are such a part of our nation.”
Editor’s note: October is Black History Month in the UK.

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