Sugababes’ Keisha Buchanan details ‘trauma’ of being stereotyped as an ‘angry black woman’

Sugababes’ Keisha Buchanan details ‘trauma’ of being stereotyped as an ‘angry black woman’

Sugababes’ Keisha Buchanan details ‘trauma’ of being stereotyped as an ‘angry black woman’

Sugababes’ Keisha Buchanan details ‘trauma’ of being stereotyped as an ‘angry black woman’

Sugababes’ Keisha Buchanan details ‘trauma’ of being stereotyped as an ‘angry black woman’ 1

Keisha Buchanan, one of the founding members of the Sugababes, has spoken about the “trauma” she experienced as the group’s only black singer.

Speaking on YouTube, the star said that she had often been painted as a “bully”.

“I have never bullied anyone in my life [but] after a while I felt like no one would believe me,” she said.

“I used to think racism was when someone directly looked at you and called you a racist word. I didn’t realise that there are so many different ways that a person or people can be racist or prejudice.”


The 35-year-old said that she had undergone therapy as a result of the intense “scrutiny and judgement” that began while she was still a teenager.

In the powerful video, which lasts over 14 minutes and can be watched in full here, Buchanan criticised the media coverage, which was always “in favour of the white girls”, and didn’t do “due diligence” in reporting.

“We would have fall-outs like most teenage girls but unfortunately when a member would leave, it was on a salty note,” she said. “That experience would be written up in a way to make myself and Mutya [Buena, the Sugababes star of Filipino-Irish descent] look aggressive, look like bullies. I wasn’t allowed to be upset, I wasn’t allowed to have an opinion.”

The singer and songwriter cited a 2009 article published by Digital Spy as an example of the problem, the sub-headline of which read: “Keisha Buchanan reacts angrily to tabloid reports that she has been bullying Amelle Berrabah”.

“First of all, I was never angry. I was hurt and I was confused,” Buchanan said. “The wording ‘Keisha reacts angrily’ allows people to get a picture in their mind of me being the angry black woman.”

She said that the experiences “did severe damage to my confidence”, adding: “On a level where you feel that much scrutiny of your life, it then leads into depression.”

Towards the end of the video, Buchanan said: “I’m not doing this video for sympathy. I’m not a victim whatsoever, but I have been hurt and I would like there to be a change in how we view others.”


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