Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix speaks out on racism and being the only Black girl in the group

Leigh-Anne Pinnock of Little Mix speaks out on racism and being the only Black girl in the group | Random J Pop

The current spike in the Black Lives Matter movement has put it at the forefront of everyone's minds. But the reality is that for Black people is that it's always at the forefront. It's on-going. Racism and racial bias is something that we face every single day, unnoticed by many.

Leigh-Anne Pinnock of UK Pop group Little Mix hopped on Instagram to share a letter she'd written, addressing just this. The hurdles and obstacles she's had to face and continues to face as 'the Black girl in the group'. Expressing that she often feels invisible or that she's the least liked member, because she is Black.

I can only imagine how isolating it feels for her as a Black woman in the situation that she's in. Her parents can only be there for her. Her Black girlfriends who aren't in her line of work can only sympathise to a point. And being the only Black girl in the group, the other members can only do so much for her. Jade can be there for her in a way that the others members can't. But whilst she has also experienced racism, some could argue that because of colourism and her being 'white passing' depending on how her hair or make-up is done that she doesn't experience all of what Leigh-Ann faces as the very clear and obvious only Black girl in the group. But this isn't to erase the fact that Jade absolutely experiences racism and racial bias too.

It's wild watching the coverage of this from white media be so surprised that she's experienced this, and mention her fame in the context of thinking it somehow would make her exempt from experiencing it. Bitch, no. Racism and racial bias runs rampant in the entertainment industry. It always has and continues to. It's systemic. And what makes it even worse, is that across every single genre and aspect of the music industry: everybody wants Blackness, they just don't want it from Black people.

Black girls and Black women constantly have to work harder than their white peers and field all manner of nonsense and fuckery from the media and the naysayers that white women never have to. Black women don't have to do anything other than just be Black in order to be ostracised and criticised.

It's why as much as some of y'all may hate an artist like Beyoncé, she is needed. She is a beacon for many Black girls that you can be big, successful, have it all, claim what's yours and doing it whilst being unapologetically Black. It's why it's so important to not let the likes of Janet Jackson be reduced to just her titty at the superbowl, because she was the template for not just Black pop stars, but a lot of the white girls too. There would be no Britney without Janet Jackson. It's why Rihanna's work to build an empire should be acknowledged before asking 'where da new album at!?', because Black girls have the power to not just shift the culture, but create it.

There have been many successful Black women in music who have paved a way and there continue to be many Black women in music who are paving a way. Leigh-Ann is one of them and I hope she knows it. There are Black girls around the UK, and the world who look at Little Mix and see Leigh-Ann, because they seem themselves.

Chin up girl. You're doing amazing sweetie.