profiles

Cy Grant

Cy was born in British Guiana (Now Guyana), and was 22 years of age in 1941 when he volunteered to join the Royal Ar Force. Two years later, he was commissioned, thus becoming one of the few Black Officers in the RAF.

During World War 2, he flew on operations in a lancaster bomber over Germany and was shot down after a successful bombing raid on the German town of Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhr, his plane crashing in a filed in Holland. He managed to bail out by parachute along with other members of the crew. Two others did not make it.

He was a Nazi prisoner of war for two years and was evacuated with the approach of the Russian army in early 1945. After the war he qualified as a barrister at Law, but felt that racism in the legal profession denied him the opportunity to practice in Britain. So, he went on to become an actor on stage and in film, as well as a singer and cabaret.

he played parts alongside actors such as Sir Laurence Oliver, Richard Burton, Richard Roundtree (Shaft), and Joan Collins. Cy was the first West Indian to be regularly seen on British Television, singing the daily news on BBC’s “Tonight” programme in the 1950′s.

He also appeared in the BBC’s Blake’s 7 and provided the voice of Lieutenant Green in Gerry Anderson’s Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.

He is the author of the book Ring of Steel, pan sound and symbol (Macmillan 1999). He was the Chairman/co founder of Drum, the London based Black arts centre in the 70′s, and Director of concord Multicultural Festivals in the 80′s. His most recent book is, Blackness and the dreaming soul, published by Shoving Leopard in 2007.

Cy’s website is www.cygrant.com