Emeli Sande Recalls Being Called 'Monkey' in School and How It Affected Her

The 'Heaven' singer reveals her difficult childhood when she was bullied by her peers because of the color of her skin and how it 'seeped into her consciousness' ever since.

AceShowbiz - Singer Emeli Sande has opened up on her experience of racism, revealing she was targeted by peers at school when she was just five years old.

The "Next to Me" hitmaker told Radio Times magazine about the "first time I became conscious that my skin colour can determine how people judge me," explaining she was "five and in the playground at primary school in Scotland, and two boys shouted 'Monkey' at me."

"I was upset and didn't know what to do because, if you're already different from everybody else, you don't want to cause a bigger problem," the singer, 33, shared. "But my friend told the headteacher, who then told my parents."

Sande's parents told her afterwards, "Sadly, this is how the world works," as she confessed the experience had "seeped into her consciousness" ever since.

"That was the beginning of my version of 'the Talk', the conversation many black and mixed-race parents - my father is black, my mother white - are obliged to have with their children," she continued.

The star went on to admit she hoped there had "been some kind of awakening and understanding of what black people may have been suffering silently" because of the Black Lives Matter protests against systematic racism.

“It breaks my heart when you see brown children sit in front of a brown doll and a white doll, and when asked which doll is bad they go for the brown doll," the "Clown" singer reflected. "This is something that is being taught to them everywhere they look in society - how else could they have that kind of low self-esteem and self-image?"

She added, "You might argue that we need a version of 'the Talk' for all children, white and black. Perhaps the better way is just for everybody to learn more about each other. That's what I hope Black Lives Matter has achieved."

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