Former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt has spoken out about her difficult relationship with her parents for the first time, during a powerful interview discussing racism through the lens of parenting.
Opening up during the latest episode of She Speaks, a new web series hosted by MP Dawn Butler and POWTV creator and director Rosemary Reed, the mother-of-three explains she doesn’t speak to her immediate family because of their racist beliefs and the abuse she suffered in their home as a result.
During the discussion, Kimberly references the moment she heard about the murder of George Floyd, revealing ‘it brought a lot of emotions up in me, and it came from growing up in a very racist household, and coming up against that time and time again and staying strong within my values. I don’t have a relationship with my parents because we are so fundamentally different.’
Acknowledging that it’s been hard to reconcile in the context of her own white privilege, she adds: ”It was always there from a very young age and I could silently have conversations in my own head, but finally finding the strength to actually speak up and speak out, I was 14. It was mostly against my father and he was just horrified.
‘I think he felt like I was a traitor of what he felt should be normality, but I couldn’t help myself. I didn’t care what was going to happen to me. My truth needed to be spoken, I felt so passionately about it – my thing was, there’s bad people of all different races, it isn’t just black people. And I would say that to him, with such tenacity and as it would become aggression, I would just put my chin out there and be ready.
‘It’s a mental health issue, and I could see that within them. I think the pressures of society, maybe not having the money or not having the company be as successful as he wanted to be, he needed to point a finger at someone or something.’
The episode also features guests including psychiatrist Dr Vera Ora (mother of singer Rita Ora), founder of The Black Curriculum Lavinya Stennett, domestic violence campaigner Jenni Steele and founder of The Motherhood Group Sandra Igwe, all of whom share their own experiences and insights into what can and should be done to break down racial discrimination.
From the narrow, Eurocentric history that’s taught in our education system to the lack of safe spaces available for black mothers in our communities, every second of the 43 minute episode raises issues that need addressing urgently, and the way these inspiring women are all working to make these changes.
To watch the full episode and hear each of their stories in full, hit play on the video below now.