Idris Elba says he 'experiences racism as often as he breathes'

‘I experience racism as often as I breathe!’ Idris Elba reveals his parents taught him that in order to make it ‘you have to be twice as good as the white man’

  • The Avenger star’s late father Winston grew up in Sierra Leone, and his mother Eve is from Ghana 
  • Idris, 47, is known best for appearing in Marvel films as well receiving critical acclaim for his lead role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
  • The actor also starred in Beasts of No Nation, a Netflix movie about child soldiers, which was filmed in Ghana
  • During The Reckoning: The Arts And Black Lives Matter event, Idris explained how asking him about racism is akin to ‘asking how long I have been breathing’
  • The Luther star also noted that the first time black people have ‘any consciousness’ around their skin ‘it is usually about racism’ 
  • During the discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement and the arts, Idris explained that his success has not ‘negated’ his experience of racism 

Idris Elba has said that asking him about racism is akin to asking ‘how long I have been breathing.’ 

While taking part in The Reckoning: The Arts And Black Lives Matter event, on Friday, the Luther actor, 47, also revealed how his parents instilled in him that in order to make it ‘you have to be twice as good as the white man.’ 

During the live-streamed discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement and the arts, Idris explained that his success has not ‘negated’ his experience of racism.

Candid: Idris Elba, 47, has said that Idris Elba has said that asking him about racism is akin to asking ‘how long I have been breathing’

The actor said: ‘Success has not negated racism for me. Asking me about racism is like asking me about how long I have been breathing.’

Idris went on to explain that the first time black people have ‘any consciousness’ around their skin ‘it is usually about racism’.

‘That stays with you regardless of whether you become successful or you beat the system,’ asserted the star. 

Elba said his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic, telling him: ‘if you want to make it in this world, you have to be twice as good as the white man’. 

Work ethic: The Luther actor also revealed his parents told him that in order to make it ‘you have to be twice as good as the white man’ (Pictured with his late father Winston in 2011)

Powerful statement! In a discussion about the Black Lives Matter movement, Idris explained that his success has not ‘negated’ his experience of racism  (Pictured with mother Eve in 2016)

He detailed how this became like a ‘mantra’ to him, and helped to guide his work ethic.

The talented actor also explained that, although he was good at football, he ‘still applied in cricket because I was always of that mindset.’

He added: ‘Before you know it you realise you are quite multi-faceted,’ before expressing how to be successful ‘you have to have your fingers in many pies’.  

Idris’ late father Winston grew up in Sierra Leone, and his mother Eve is from Ghana.

The actor has forged an incredibly successful career, starring in Marvel films, including the Avengers, as well as for the lead role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

He also starred in a Netflix movie about child soldiers, Beasts of No Nation, which was filmed in Ghana. 

Candid: Idris went on to explain that the first time black people have ‘any consciousness’ around their skin ‘it is usually about racism’ (Pictured in 2005)

Idris’ interview comes after he trademarked his own name in preparation to launch his lifestyle brand with his wife Sabrina, 30.

The couple are said to have submitted applications with the Intellectual Property Office earlier this year for Sable Labs and their podcast Coupledom.

One application for their lifestyle brand suggests the couple will make dozens of products, including soaps, aftershave, cosmetics like lipstick and mascara, and bubble bath, among others. 

Entrepreneur: Idris’ interview comes after he trademarked his own name in preparation to launch his lifestyle brand with his wife Sabrina, 30

Another list of products sees the pair venture in medical items such as medicated acne treatment, dermatological products, nutritional supplements and treatment of hair loss, The Sun reports.

It was claimed that Idris requested to trademark his name and made the applications for the brand through his UK firm IE7 Holdings Limited, which he also uses for his music business, clothing brand, and production company Green Door Pictures.

The couple aim to make Sable Labs a ‘global community that celebrates partnerships of all kinds – romantic couples, business partners, creative duos, long standing friends, family ties and much more.’ 

Idris is father to two children, daughter Isan, 18, and son Winston, 6, from two previous relationships. 

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