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Mel B has revealed that her dad carried her as a baby to avoid racist attacks in town when she was growing up.
Mel penned a moving piece for The Sun, written one year after George Floyd died and the Black Lives Matter movement gained steam in the UK, with anti-racism protests all over the globe.
Spice Girl Mel grew up in Leeds with a white English mum, Andrea Brown, and dad Martin who was born in the Caribbean island of Nevis and moved to the UK as a child.
She recalled her mother asking her father to carry Mel when they went out in the town, to avoid racially motivated attacks.
Mel grew up in the 1970s and described knowing her family was “different”, which is why the local working man’s club would never accept her dad.
She wrote for The Sun: “When I was a baby and my parents were in town, Mum would make Dad carry me because it was less likely he’d be attacked if he had a baby in his arms.”
Mel continued to open up about the racism that she faced in school.
She wrote: “My earliest memories of school are running home at full pelt with kids shouting ‘Redskin’ and ‘P*ki’ at me and my dad telling me I needed to fight my own battles.”
The singer went on to discuss how difficult it was not to have many role models to look up to, or representation in the entertainment industry, before she took that role on herself.
She wrote: “I remember seeing a picture of Terri Seymour, Simon Cowell ’s ex-girlfriend, modelling in a poster at C&A where my mum worked and thinking: ‘Wow, she’s got brown skin too.’ And I remember seeing Neneh Cherry on Top Of The Pops pregnant, proud, brown and beautiful. She was everything I wanted to be. But throughout the whole of my adolescence, I just remember seeing only TWO girls I could relate to.”
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Last year, Mel revealed that she’d suffered heart-breaking racist hate mail after buying a house in Buckinghamshire.
She said: “The fact I bought it disturbed the whole village. I got not just hate mail but racist hate mail, which was shocking to me. It said, ‘Get out of this village, you don’t belong, you can’t buy something like this . . .’”
Despite suffering from these abhorrent racist actions, Mel B is positive about the future.
She finished her piece by writing: “Sometimes it takes rage to get justice and rage to make a difference, but I am pleased the world my three brown girls are growing up in is — admittedly slowly — moving forward. And I am proud to be brown, British and part of a global entertainment industry that has for so long needed to change.”
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