Idris Elba expressed his views on racism in an interview with Esquire magazine said that “I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realized it put me in a box.”
“As humans, we are obsessed with race. And that obsession can really hinder people’s aspirations, hinder people’s growth. Racism should be a topic for discussion, sure. Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it’s only as powerful as you allow it to be,” Elba explained. “We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to. Our skin is no more than that: It’s just skin.”
“I’m not any more Black because I’m in a white area, or more Black because I’m in a Black area. I’m Black,” the versatile actor said, “And that skin stays with me no matter where I go, every day, through Black areas with white people in it, or white areas with Black people in it. I’m the same Black.”
The Beasts Of No Nations actor explained that he became an actor and chose this profession because it is a great profession and he could do a great job in it. He clarified that he didn’t come to the field of entertainment because he didn’t see black people doing it and wanted to change it.
“As you get up the ladder, you get asked what it’s like to be the first Black to do this or that,” Elba, 50 year old went on to explain, “Well, it’s the same as it would be if I were white. It’s the first time for me. I don’t want to be the first Black. I’m the first Idris.”