British superstar Leigh-Anne Pinnock opened up about her experience with racism in an emotional post-Friday (June 5) night.
The singer whose parents are both of mixed race, says growing up she and her siblings never saw race being a limitation on what we wanted to achieve because both of their grandfathers had moved to England and married white women even though it was frowned upon.
“Growing up, me and my sisters never saw race being a limitation on what we wanted to achieve,” she says. “Because if our grandparents could raise mixed-race children in the ’60s, we could do anything. One thing we were doing was sleeping on racism. Too often, black people are reminded how far we have come, as opposed to how far we can go. In doing this, we sleep on racism. Think about it: do you ever hear white people having to be thankful about how far they’ve come as a race? There comes a point in every black human’s life; no matter how much money you have or what you have achieved, you realize racism does not exclude you.”
Leigh-Anne says her massive awakening happened during the filming of Little Mix’s 2012 video “Wings.” Famed black director and choreographer, Frank Gaston told her, “You’re the black girl. You have to work ten times harder.” Those words stayed with her and later rung true, she says.
The only black member in the group, Leigh-Anne, tearfully shared hat she feels ‘invisible’ at times in the group.
“My reality is constantly feeling like I have to work ten times harder and longer to make my place in the group because my talent alone isn’t enough, “she said. “My reality is wanting to see other artists who I know are so talented but will never get opportunities I have had because to the industry, they are not marketable, but they will get behind someone else with the aspects of Black culture the world wants to see, but will leave behind the aspects they feel make them unmarketable. My reality is all the times I’ve felt invisible within my group; part of me is fully aware that my experience would’ve been even harder to cope with had I been dark-skinned.”
Pinnock’s video comes at a time in not only the United States but protests around the world have erupted after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was murdered on video by white police officer Derek Chauvin.
She concluded the video acknowledging that racism still exists no matter how far we think we’ve come.
“It exists in sports, in the creative industries, in politics and policies, in the streets, and in the hearts of racist individuals. We are no longer in a position where we need to be quiet on this matter. So let’s all continue to speak up on racism and keep this movement going.”
Watch Pinnock’s Full Video Below: