Letitia Wright has made a vow to “keep building a wall” and make space for Black women to succeed.
The Black Panther actress tells Elle U.K. magazine it “hurts” her that Black women have been sidelined historically, but she’s called on her peers to alter their mindset and accept that there’s “space for all of us”.
“If you actually step aside from that mentality and go, no, there’s space for all of us (to succeed),” she says, adding, “we just have to keep building a wall.
“The bricks at the bottom have to be laid first before the bricks on the second row can be laid,” Letitia muses. So, if you say, ‘OK, you lay your brick there, and I’ll lay my brick in the next two months. Let me make sure that your brick that’s laid is good and solid and paid well…’ Then, soon, you have a wall.”
She adds: “Yes, I stole that from Will Smith. I’ve listened to that since I was 16, but he has a point: we have to be bricks, we have to be that solid foundation for each other or else what’s the point?”
Letitia goes on to say that her determination has only been amplified by the Black Lives Matter movement, and her new TV movie, Small Axe, based on the real-life experiences of London’s West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982, is particularly relevant in the current climate.
“Preparing for it, doing it, giving all that you can to it and then you get to 2020 and you’re like, hold up a minute, this is happening again,” she notes.
“People aren’t going out to protest because they want to. It’s aggravation after aggravation and standing up for justice.”
Small Axe, directed by Steve McQueen, airs on Amazon Prime Video and in the UK on BBC One in November (2020).