Keisha Buchanan has spoken about the “traumatic” racism she experienced during her early days in the Sugababes.
In a new video posted on YouTube and titled Life as the “Black” Sugababe – My Story, Buchanan, 35, recalled examples from interviews where she’d experienced prejudice, and said the experiences were so traumatic that she ended up needing therapy.
“I used to think that racism was when someone directly looked at you and called you a racist word,” Buchanan said. “I didn’t realise that there was so many different ways that a person and that people can be racist or prejudiced.”
Buchanan gave examples from interviews where she’d been labelled “a bully” and “aggressive” to portray her as an “angry black woman.”
Speaking about the interviews, Buchanan said: “[They] would then be written up in a way to make myself and Mutya [Buena] look aggressive, look like bullies,” Buchanan explained.
“I didn’t realise that I would be having to go through therapy to help me to cope with some of the trauma that I’ve experienced while being in the Sugababes, or being in the public eye,” she continued.
Buchanan added: “But the [media] who were leading the wolf pack when I was a teenager did severe damage to my confidence… When you feel that much scrutiny over your life, it then leads into depression.
“And it’s that kind of depression… and all of that stems from lies that were told, injustices that were happening around me, injustices that are still happening to this day.
“I want people to see me for me, thoughts and all, shadiness and all, bossiness and all. I want people to see me for me and then make a judgement on that, and not what they perceive me to be based upon the colour of my skin.”
Last November, Buchanan, along with other original Sugababes members Mutya Buena and Siobhan Donaghy, appeared on The Graham Norton Show following news of their reunion.
The trio revealed they were planning something for the 20th anniversary of their first and only album together, 2000’s ‘One Touch’.
“We’re actually working on music and we plan to put something special together for our fans,” Buchanan said. Asked what the plans involved, Buena only replied: “We’re gonna be working on something”.