DANIEL KALUUYA: ‘BLACK’ IS PART OF YOUR IDENTITY
By Erin White
January 29, 2020
Speaking with the Radio Times, British actor Daniel Kaluuya admitted that he was bored of talking about race and racial issues. Being super-candid, he told the outlet, “I’m not going to ignore that I’m surrounded by (racial issues), but I’m not defined by it. I’m just Daniel, who happens to be Black.” And, I mean, fair enough. Being Black is fucking hard, painful, bittersweet, heartbreaking — all of that. But it’s part of who we are. And who Daniel is.
Divorcing yourself from race is some white people shit. We’re all sick of talking about race, Daniel. We’re all sick of being tokenized and reminded of our Otherness in every room we enter. I’m not a good Black writer, I’m a good writer, period. And it sucks that Black people and People of Color don’t get the privilege of individualism.
Kaluuya went on to say that he doesn’t want to be “the race guy.”
“It’s just boring to me. What’s the debate? I’m more of a doer. I’m just going to do what I want to do,” he continued. “The Fades ain’t about race, Psychoville ain’t about race, Skins ain’t about race, Chatroom ain’t about race, Johnny English Reborn ain’t about race. But that almost gets erased. There’s a narrative that is pushed.” Yet none of those projects or performances spoke to audiences and critics like Get Out and Black Panther did, and what were those films about?
Anyway, Kaluuya is slated to portray assassinated Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton in an untitled upcoming film said to be directed by Ryan Coogler. Will Black Daniel, “the race guy” show up for that, or no? Hope such an honor won’t be too much of a burden, Mr. Kaluuya.