Wolverhampton's Beverley Knight opens up about racism in emotional video message
Beverley Knight has opened up about her experiences of racism as she appealed for a "call to action" to "dismantle the scourge of racism".
The Wolverhampton-born soul superstar posted an emotional message on social media in response to the death of George Floyd in America which has sparked widespread protests and online campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic.
She spoke about the pain of being judged walking down the street because of the colour of her skin, and also hit out at people who have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement by insisting 'all lives matter'.
Beverley, 47, also said racism and black people being treated differently was not just an issue solely confined to America.
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She said in the video posted on Facebook: "Black lives matter. It's not saying only black lives matter. It's not saying black lives matter to the exclusion of every other life, of course not.
"When people reply to black lives matter on social media with 'yeah, well all lives matter', I often think to myself I wish all lives did matter.
"Quite obviously, as is evidenced right now in the US, quite visibly, we can see that some lives matter way, way, way less than everybody else's. And that is - let's be completely real here - the lives of black people."
The singer added that it was black lives that seemed to end with "bullets or knees in their neck", in reference to the death of Mr Floyd in Minneapolis.
She continued: "A lot of us are saying 'isn't it terrible what's going on in the US. Thank God we're all so enlightened over here'.
"Well, we don't have guns over here. We don't have that kind of policing, we have policing by consent so it's a different situation but don't think we are problem free over here."
Beverley also opened up about the everyday experiences of black people, including herself.
She said: "Listen to those lived experiences, listen to people when they tell you what it's like to go through your life from cradle to grave being judged a thousand yards down the road by people who see you coming and have made up their mind all about you simply on your skin colour, what you look like.
"Bullying is horrific, we see it all the time. But imagine that and blow it up by a thousand and have a system in place which makes sure those bullies always get away with it. Then you're talking about systemic racism.
"Listen to those experiences and learn from them. Don't try and belittle them or question them. We know what we're talking about."