Danai Gurira speaks on racism experiences

Hazel Marimbiza
United States-based Zimbabwean actress Danai Gurira, who has over the last few years become one of Hollywood’s brightest lights, with roles as a zombie slayer on The Walking Dead and blockbuster movie Black Panther has said despite her success she has had her fair share of racial prejudice in America.

Her sentiments come after the recent death of one unarmed African-American man, George Floyd, who was killed by police.

In an interview with writer and producer, Scott M Gimple, Gurira shed light about her life in America, saying racism had been one of her struggles.

“When I was in college I witnessed my then boyfriend who was Caucasian gasp at me and the issues I talked to him about concerning the racism I faced.

“When I would come and talk about those injustices he would be like that wasn’t race, it wasn’t that bad. He was constantly denying me the struggles I deal with every day and saying they don’t really exist,” she said.

Gurira also said so much has been done by the black community to tackle racial issues but there has not been any change.

“Racism has been a struggle that has defined black lives. We have expressed ourselves through great politicians, great leaders, great music, marches and protests. How many more pieces of work must we use to express ourselves? How much more must we do to get it across? What more can black people do? I really want to be able to pass on this labour to my Caucasian brothers and sisters so that they can help educate each other on racism. It’s not our job as black people to educate white people on racism. They can’t relate to what I go through because they don’t experience it,” she said.

Gurira called for America to deal with racism.

“There is a refusal to embrace the fact that this is what America has done for centuries and we are still grappling with it. If we refuse to face the problem we can’t get past it. Anti-racism needs to be an institutionalised educational structure in America,” she said.

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