Often, when we speak of the diaspora, our minds travel the Atlantic slave trade routes to the Americas and Caribbean. But just as Blackness is not a monolith, the diaspora has a different impact depending on where we are.
The slave trade brought millions to Scotland. However, history taught without context has left Black Scots with little recourse to deal with the deeply-rooted institutional racism built into the foundation of the country in which they live.
The streets of Glasgow, Scotland, still hold the names of plantation owners. Every day, the descendants of the enslaved walk their cobblestones. Systemic racism is also embedded within the country’s fabric. In recognition of this, Glasgow Univeristy paid over $20 million to the descendants of the slave trade in 2019.
However, the guise of acceptance has impacted issues of identity. Black Scots tend to identify their roots as Scottish first and Blackness second. This doesn’t mean, though, that they are all unaware or unaffected by similar issues and disparities that Black Americans face.
The slave trade was prominent in the U.K. Race riots, boycotts, and Scottish generational wealth only tell a fraction of the story of Blackness in Scotland, which is complex, deep, and worth unpacking to better understand the global impact of racism and how it has shaped the identity of Black people across the diaspora.