Bailey Rae's Childhood Lessons In Racism
British soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae used to be racially abused on a regular basis while growing up, even though her verbal attackers mistakenly thought she was of Pakistani origin. Bailey Rae was raised in Leeds, England by her white mother and black father, who originated from the Caribbean. And she quickly learned how to deal with racism, whether indirect or intended. She says, "My sisters and I were different and people used to say, 'Ah, aren't they cute, the little chocolate children, and look at their hair.' "I know they were only being cute but it was over the top. "Then people from other schools would shout, 'Paki' to me because it was the most common racist insult of the time. At least if you're going to do it, get it right. "I used to shout back, 'But my dad isn't from Pakistan, he's from St Kitts - so there.' "It does really shake and shock you when you are young. Things have changed now. People are more accepting."