Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock is opening up about her experience with racism.
The 28-year-old British singer took to Instagram on Friday (June 5) to share a powerful video of herself speaking about how being the only black member of Little Mix has forced her to “work 10 times harder” to mark her place in the group.
“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,” Pinnock captioned the five-minute clip. “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.”
Pinnock’s video arrives at a time when the nation is protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who was suffocated by white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The singer, whose parents are mixed race, says she had “the biggest awakening of my life” when filming the video for Little Mix’s 2012 song “Wings.” During the shoot, black director and choreographer Frank Gatson told her, “You’re the black girl. You have to work 10 times harder.” Those words would later ring true, she says.
“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 says. “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 concludes her video encouraging others to end their silence and speak up about racism.
“Our reality is no matter how far you think you’ve come, racism exists,” she says. “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 fully video below.