Coronation Street star Vinta Morgan has opened up about the racism he has suffered throughout his life.
He said the "subtle, systemic and overt racism has had a profound impact" on him, and specifically spoke out one particular incident which happened when he was just 11 years old.
Vinta, who plays Ronnie Bailey on the ITV soap, told Digital Spy and other media that a police officer stopped him on the street when he was just a child.
"One of the main experiences I can think about is when I was probably about 11 years old. A police officer stopped me on the street and asked me to tip my school bag out onto the floor on the pavement," he recalled.
"I had to throw all my stuff out and I didn't know what to do as it was an adult. It was really for nothing. I was just picked on, and I'll never forget it, because it actually was very scary."
He explained that as a child he felt powerless as he didn't understand what was happening or why.
"I suppose now as an adult when I look back on it I think 'hold on a minute, I was so small and this great big ogre of a man bullied me and got me to throw all my stuff out on the street', I was powerless and didn't even have the ability to express myself or understand that he should have a reason for doing it."
He explained: "These things happen but you don't allow these things to dampen your ability to thrive. But also you want to be part of change and help things to be better, but also sometimes it does take time."
Vinta, who will play a role in an ongoing racism storyline with Grace Vickers, said he's glad that the soap is able to bring the issue of racism into viewers' lives.
"This is a fantastic opportunity because obviously Corrie is beamed into so many homes, millions of homes around the country. Some of it is educational and giving people opportunities to see things and see how they happen, because sometimes people just aren’t aware," he said.
"Awareness is one of the biggest things ever," he continued. "To have that opportunity to be involved in that conversation and create dialogue, where people can relate to normal people going through their daily lives, I think gives people a greater and more appreciative perspective."
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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