Thandie Newton Opens Up About Childhood Racial Abuse

Todd Rigney - Author

Aug. 24 2017, Updated 3:38 a.m. ET

Thandie Newton recently revealed that she was the victim of racial abuse as a child.

When she was growing up in the town of Penzance in Cornwall during the 70s, the actress and her family were the only black people in the area. As such, some folks weren’t exactly warm and accepting of Newton, her brother, and her parents.

According to The Cornishman, Thandie Newton’s childhood was unfortunately plagued by people who were more than a little backwards in terms of racial acceptance. In fact, some folks seemed to make it their mission to create a little drama whenever they spotted Thandie or her family on the street.

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“I was getting good grades; I was a really happy, sparkly child, and she [Newton’s mother] was aware that the more I was achieving, the more resentment there was from other people. But I didn’t understand, I was only little, so it was almost like I couldn’t do enough to get her praise,” Newton explained to The Times.

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She added, “Just walking through the town was drawing attention to ourselves — so of course that has an effect on how you want your kids to be.”

Although Thandie Newton was born in London, she spent three years in Zambia before moving to Cornwall. She and her brother attended Penzance’s St. Mary’s Roman Catholic School, a place where they were essentially ostracized by their classmates.

“Moving from Zambia to Cornwall in the 1970s was an extraordinary experience. The story of living in Penzance as the only black family would make a fabulous sitcom if there had been a little more humor,” the actress explained.

Of course, it’s Thandie who ultimately had the last laugh. Not only is she an award-winning actress with a slew of acclaimed movies under her cinematic belt, she also recently welcomed her son Booker Jombe Parker into the world. The Inquisitr previously reported that she shared a heartwarming photo of the baby with her followers on Twitter.

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Thandie Newton fans can catch the actress next in director Biyi Bandele’s feature-length debut Half of a Yellow Sun. Based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the film tells the story of several people who attempt to establish an independent republic in Nigeria. The film opens this July in the US.

Are you a fan of Thandie Newton? Are you surprised that the actress experienced racial abuse during her childhood?


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