We’ve detailed in past articles the full extent of Steve McQueen’s artistic credentials but we want to take a moment out to clearly state how proud we are of what this black man born to parents born and raised in Grenada has managed to achieve.
Whether he wins tonight or not his achievements belong as much to Grenada as they do to Britain, indeed it’s funny how Brits choose to label black people as British only when it suits them.
If McQueen were in front of a jury in a criminal trial rather than artistic one my experience is that the British media would be much less willing to claim him as British (to continue the arguments on the diaspora and cultural identity started by the late Stuart Hall).
Regardless of who wins at the Oscars, the impact of this director is beyond dispute. Earlier this week “12 Years a Slave” was played before the United Nations (UN) at the New York headquarters.
Speaking after the screening, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon revealed that Steve McQueen’s film had schooled him not only on the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade but also served as a reminder of how modern day slavery and human trafficking still take place today.
“My hope is that 12 years a slave will inspire many years of action to end slavery for good,” said the Secretary General.
It’s powerful beyond words that its someone of Grenadian descent that will be behind that global movement for change.