Friday, July 10, 2020

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MOBO boss Kanya King says she was ‘ostracised’ by music industry

MOBO boss Kanya King was previously "ostracised" when she discussed racism in the music industry.

The founder and CEO of the MOBO organisation hopes the protests following the death of George Floyd will prove to be "a watershed moment" – but Kanya claims her own efforts to tackle discrimination within the music business were "completely dismissed".

She said: "It’s very painful to watch what happened to George Floyd. I can’t help but think of my son and my brothers, all who have tackled discrimination."

Various high-profile musicians have spoken out in support of the protests. But Kanya thinks "collective efforts" are needed in order to prompt significant changes.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1, she added: "When I first started talking about racism in music, my comments were completely dismissed – I was ostracised.

"The powers that be even wanted to get rid of us [black people] all together, as we were seen as ‘difficult’."

Kanya has called on industry leaders to play a bigger part in "openly talking about social inequality and discrimination".

She continued: "In doing so they will empower others and help build a more inclusive and coherent society where everyone can progress regardless of the background or the colour of one’s skin."

Kanya made the comments shortly after Beyonce demanded justice for George Floyd.

The award-winning star delivered a powerful message in an Instagram video, after Floyd died following his arrest by police outside a shop in Minneapolis.

In her video message, Beyonce said: "We need justice for George Floyd. We all witnessed his murder in broad daylight.

"We’re broken and we’re disgusted. We cannot normalise this pain. I’m not only speaking to people of colour. If you’re white, black, brown or anything in between, I’m sure you feel hopeless by the racism going on in America right now.

"No more senseless killings of human beings. No more seeing people of colour as less than human. We can no longer look away."

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