Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
1:28 PM 28th September 2023

Reaction: New Report Finds The Arts An Area Of Considerable Disappointment For Many Black Britons

The largest ever survey of Black British people has found that the arts and media are areas of considerable disappointment for many Black Britons.

Despite clear efforts to reform ‒ and increasingly common references to ‘blind’ casting ‒ theatre, film, television, publishing and the mainstream media are all depicted as sources of longstanding disappointment to Black communities.

The research was announced today by the Black British Voices Research project, a collaboration between the University of Cambridge, the Voice newspaper, and I-Cubed Consultancy. They surveyed over 11,000 Black Brits across sixteen topics including Britishness, Identity and Racism.

The report also confirmed that fewer than 10% believe theatres and publishing houses are doing enough to encourage Black participation.

The music industry fared better than theatre or publishing, with 38% of respondents describing it as a positive medium for Black cultural expression as opposed to 31% who believed it was negative. At the same time, media such as broadcasting, music, film, and theatre are all viewed as formats in which Black British talent can thrive if given suitable opportunity.

Maggie Semple OBE
Credit Alastair W Hanson
Maggie Semple OBE Credit Alastair W Hanson
BBVP Ambassador and co-author of My Little Black Book: A Blacktionary: The pocket guide to the language of race (Penguin Paperbacks) Dr Maggie Semple OBE comments:
“The survey’s overwhelming response shows that Black British people want change in the arts and media. Change for good, for them, their children and future generations. We can no longer overlook the lived realities of Black people in the UK and be non-committal in providing impactful long-term solutions. This is an opportunity to acknowledge our views and opinions, with the intent of creating a better future for us all."