Greater acknowledgement needed of Black Scottish history, say authors
19 October 2022
A Cardiff University academic says more needs to be done to recognise and archive the history of Black people’s lives, work, and creativity in Scotland.
Dr Francesca Sobande has worked with layla-roxanne hill to document Black people’s experiences and histories for their book, Black Oot Here: Black Lives in Scotland.
They have gathered first-hand interviews, studied archive material and creative work, and charted the activism of Black people from the eighties onwards to offer extensive insights into an area of history often overlooked until now.
Dr Sobande, who herself grew up in Scotland during the nineties, said: “With this research, we aim to celebrate the lives of Black people in Scotland; it is clear they are part of Scotland’s past, present, and future. But the material on Scottish history that we came across painted an incomplete picture of Black Scottish life which left us thinking about how Black Scottish history has been treated.
“Even though Black people’s presence in Scotland spans centuries, when I was growing up there, recognition of this was lacking. Although a lot has changed since then, acknowledgement of Black Scottish history needs to extend much further beyond Black history month, traumatising media depictions, and tired tropes such as the archetypal ‘strong’ and ‘respectable’ Black person.