Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock recalls her first experience with racism as nine-year-old schoolgirl

Pinnock said she was 'distraught' by her first experience with racism
Pinnock said she was 'distraught' by her first experience with racism - (Copyright PA)
8:20am, Thu 06 Aug 2020
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Little Mix member Leigh-Anne Pinnock has said she was left ‘distraught’ by her first experience of racism when she was nine years-old.

Now 28, she and her parents joined other British celebrities in Channel 4 show The Talk where they spoke of their experiences with racism and discrimination.

Pinnock said: “In primary school, a boy wrote on a bit of paper, ‘Name: Leigh-Anne. Age: Nine. Nationality: Jungle.’

“I saw it, and my heart just dropped. I knew it was racism. I was nine years-old, I knew it was racism. I was just distraught by it.”

She added she wished she was educated on racism at the time so she could have been more prepared.

“I just wish that I knew more back then, I just wish that I was more educated on this and I knew that, yeah, your race will hold you back a little bit.

“I just wish I knew that so I could prepare myself.”

Pinnock has been more vocal about her own experiences with racism since the Black Lives Matter protests were sparked by the death of George Floyd.

She said she has been nervous to meet fans in the past because she believed she was the least liked in the group - whose other three members are Perrie Edwards, Jade Thirlwall and Jesy Nelson.

“My reality is constantly feeling like I have to work ten times harder and longer to make my case in the group, because my talent alone isn't enough,” she had said earlier.

But she added she will continue to speak out on the issue.

"My reality is all the times I felt invisible within my group. Part of me is fully aware that my experience would have been ever harder to deal with had I been dark-skinned.

“Our reality is no matter how far you think you've come, racism exists.”

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