Has NI’s black community seen change one year on from George Floyd’s death?

The murder of George Floyd in the US a year ago threw a spotlight on racism around the world, but has anything changed for the better for the black community in Northern Ireland?

The death of the unarmed black man in Minneapolis on 25 May 2020, after being held down by a white police officer, sparked protests around the globe - including in Belfast and Londonderry.

George Floyd’s killing has been seen as a landmark moment in terms of how it has driven the Black Lives Matter movement and the campaign for equality forward.

However, one anti-racism campaigner told UTV one year on that Northern Ireland is not just slow to change, but resistant.


“Anybody who leaves their country of origin to go to a different country, the experience is going to be very challenging to start with,” Lilian Seenoi-Barr, from the North West Migrants’ Forum, said.

“But if you go to a place where you are not embraced, you are not accepted, it’s worse.”

There is still hope though, and Lilian and her fellow human rights activists are putting their faith in the next generation of young people to lead the way to a shared, more inclusive future.

“Every time I think we have made a step ahead, we make 10 back,” she said.

“But you know what gives me hope is the young people, the next generation.

“Because they have completely rejected violence, they have completely rejected division. And that is what I am holding on to.”

Anti-racism campaigners hold a demonstration in NI. Credit: UTV