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Living Colour say band is shunned by Black entertainment outlets for playing “white people” music

“It’s hard enough to live in places where you expect white supremacy, but not from your own people.”

Vernon Reid of Living Colour

Image: Daniel Boczarski /
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Alt-rockers Living Colour have spoken out about being shunned in the Black entertainment industry for playing what’s supposedly “white people” music.

The rock quartet issued a statement earlier this week addressing Lenny Kravitz’s recent comments alleging he was being overlooked at awards shows hosted by the black entertainment industry.

Kravitz told Esquire at the time: “To this day, I have not been invited to a BET thing or a Source Awards thing. And it’s like, here is a Black artist who has reintroduced many Black art forms, who has broken down barriers – just like those that came before me broke down. That is positive. And they don’t have anything to say about it?”

Referencing Kravitz’s comments in an Instagram post, Living Colour vocalist Corey Glover wrote: “It’s come to my attention that people responded to Lenny Kravitz’s statement, that black organisations in the entertainment industry never really sought him out.”

“Retorting that they did make effort to contact him but his ‘people’ said that Mr. Kravitz had no interest. That is false. Whether his people made that statement, I cannot say. Living Colour throughout has made a conscious effort to make ourselves available to places like BET, the Source etc. Mind you this was happening simultaneously to us in the rock idiom.”

“Their response to us usually was that we did not fit in their format. Ironic, that was the same response we got from the Rock n roll / white entertainment organisations.”

“Lenny was right,” Glover continued, adding, “None of us has been awarded let alone acknowledged for our achievements. Living Colour in the past has worked with such historical luminaries as a Little Richard and Mick Jagger. We’ve worked with a hip-hop royalty from Queen Latifah, Doug E Fresh, Chuck D & Flava Flav to Run DMC. And yet there’s barely a mention of rocks contribution to what is modern black music, let alone in rock and roll circles.”

“It’s been our experience that most people of colour have no idea how deep and far reaching the influence of Black people in the modern-day rock ‘n’ roll there are, let alone it’s impact on R&B and hip hop. What we hear is “that’s white people stuff” when in fact, it is not!”

The musician concluded: “It’s hard enough to live in places where you expect white supremacy, but not from your own people.”

Read Living Colour’s full statement below.

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