Students flock to Black Sheep screening at Bradford College

"Being yourself is your biggest power." This was the message Oscar-nominated film maker Cornelius Walker had for students at Bradford College during Anti-Bullying Week.

The writer and director took questions from students at the College following a special screening of the short film Black Sheep.

The documentary is based on his story. Following the murder of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor in Peckham in 2000, Cornelius was moved with his family from London to escape the violence, only to find himself living on an estate with racist thugs. Cornelius resorted to drastic measures to try and fit in with the people who hated him, including bleaching his skin and wearing blue contact lenses.​

The film was screened on World Kindness Day to help students better understand the impact of bullying.

Speaking after the session, Cornelius said: "The whole point of Black Sheep, for me, wasn't to necessarily talk about racism, but to talk about the internal effects of what happened to me because of racism.

"I feel like sometimes in order to get to your best, you have to go through your worst, and when people don't treat you well, it's because everyone's been bad to them. Hurt people, hurt people."

The visit was a huge success, with students asking Cornelius questions around subjects such as the emotional impact of the changes he felt he had to make to his appearance and his self image. Lauren Pickles, Personal Development Officer who organised the screening, said: "It was an honour to have Cornelius here. The film has had a great impact and students asked a lot of question and were fascinated by what he had to say."

You can watch a video interview with Cornelius Walker during his visit to Bradford College.

The Black Sheep film itself is available to view on the Guardian website.


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