Steve McQueen says he battled 'institutional racism' at school

Steve McQueen has revealed he battled 'institutional racism' at school.

The filmmaker, 50, told Esquire magazine that he was treated unfairly by teachers and pupils who 'didn't think he was capable,' with the school regularly suspending or downgrading black students.

Steve - who won an Oscar in 2014 for 12 Years A Slave - has directed the BBC anthology series Small Axe, which depicts the lives of West Indians in Britain between the 1960s and the 1980s.

'Horrific': Steve McQueen has revealed he battled 'institutional racism' at school, as he graced the cover of Esquire Magazine

'Horrific': Steve McQueen has revealed he battled 'institutional racism' at school, as he graced the cover of Esquire Magazine

Steve told the publication that along with the racism that was apparent at school, he also struggled with dyslexia, which went un-diagnosed for many years.

He said: '[I remember] sitting at the front of the class with a lazy eye and a patch over it, unable to see the chalk board at all. 

'[I] walked into racial discrimination. They assumed I wasn't capable academically. When I went back to my old school to hand out awards, the headmaster told me that back when I was there the school was institutionally racist. 

'They admitted it, but I didn't need their confirmation. People were excluded, they were ostracised, graded down, not given a chance. Because of who they were.

Hard: The filmmaker said that he was treated unfairly by teachers and pupils who 'didn't think he was capable,' with the school regularly suspending or downgrading black students

Hard: The filmmaker said that he was treated unfairly by teachers and pupils who 'didn't think he was capable,' with the school regularly suspending or downgrading black students

'That's where it started. It started at school. It was not a happy experience. And, unfortunately, that narrative continues for a lot of black people. It's horrific to be confronted with institutional racism from day one.'

Asked whether he feels optimistic that change can happen, he added: 'I feel hope because young people now are willing to speak out. 

'And it's been very moving. John Boyega speaking out in Hyde Park. It's very healthy, very cathartic. 

'And I'd add to that the #MeToo movement as well. Can this moment be capitalised on? It's an interesting moment, but we'll see what happens.'

Serious: Steve has directed the BBC anthology series Small Axe, which depicts the lives of West Indians in Britain between the 1960s and the 1980s

Serious: Steve has directed the BBC anthology series Small Axe, which depicts the lives of West Indians in Britain between the 1960s and the 1980s

Steve has created the five-part miniseries Small Axe, which documents the lives of West Indians during the mid-20th Century, and pinpoints certain historic moments including the 1981 Brixton Uprising.

The series features five individual stories about the hardships West Indians faced, and features stars including John Boyega and Letitia Wright. 

He explained: 'These to me were stories that needed to be

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