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Like many of you, I have been feeling really heavy with everything that we are seeing online and hearing on the news. In the past I have mentioned some personal experiences that were triggered due to my race. More than ever I felt like it was time that I was completely open and honest with you all because finally, the world is awake and people want to listen, help and understand. I'm not doing this video for sympathy or for you to watch and then go about normal life. I'm doing it because enough is enough and hopefully from sharing this we can all do more to understand the racism that takes place. In doing this we are able to approach the bigger issue and break down systemic racism. All we want is equality and justice for our black community. 🖤
Little Mix singer Leigh-Anne Pinnock has shared an emotional video message detailing the blatant racism she has experienced while working in the creative industries.
She then said that when she and her sisters were growing up, the daughters of two mixed-race parents, they never viewed their race as "a limitation" on what they could achieve, but in the process ended up "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," she added, before asking a pointed question: "Think about it: do you ever hear white people having to be thankful about how far they've come as a race?"
She then recalled being told early in her recording career by award-winning choreographer Frank Gatson Jr. – who is also Black – that "you're the Black girl – you have to work 10 times harder".
Pinnock then outlined the ways in which racism in the creative industries has affected the way she's had to conduct herself during her career.
"You learn to understand that you can't be seen to be too loud or too opinionated, otherwise you're deemed a diva or aggressive," she said. "You learn that by walking into a room, you are deemed unapproachable or offish before anyone has even approached you.
"You learn that by voicing your opinion about the lack of diversity within the industry is like smashing your head against a brick wall," she continued. "So at events and ceremonies, you learn to take great comfort from rare moments when you meet Black creatives who understand this feeling of misplacement that you have inside."
Pinnock also said that her "reality" as a member of Little Mix is "feeling anxious before fan events and signings because I always feel like I'm the least favoured".
She added, harking back to Gatson Jr.'s prophetic words from the start of her career: "My reality is constantly feeling like I have to work 10 times harder and longer to mark my place in the group because my talent alone isn't enough."
She also acknowledged that "part of me is fully aware that my experience would've been even harder to cope with had I been dark-skinned".
Pinnock ended her message by urging people not to allow the Black Lives Matter movement to lose any momentum, saying: "Let's all continue to speak up on racism and keep this movement going."
You can watch her full video message below.