What impact do you think the Black Lives Matter movement has had on discussions about race in Britain?
The obvious one is around the agenda of policing. It is often morphed into a statues debate, which is a bit of a distraction. The main impact is that the death of George Floyd was so personal. It could have been anybody. It was so random and the level of violence so shocking. I think that’s what has happened here. This generation realizes that any black person in America is vulnerable to that level of policing, and to some extent that is also true here in Britain.
Glasgow has streets named after slave traders such as John Archibald and Andrew Buchanan. There used to be little talk about this, so what changed? Glasgow has had a Black History Month since 2001, telling the story of Glasgow’s role in the slave trade and how the city came into being. There has also been a campaign for four or five years for a Museum of Slavery.