New research out of the U.K. has put numbers to the issue of racism in the music industry. Thorough and wide-reaching, the first-of-its-kind study, titled "Being Black in the UK Music Industry," quantifies experiences of anti-Blackness and its consequences on wages, mental health and education.
On both the creative and business ends, 88% of Black music professionals have experienced direct or indirect racism in their line of work, according to the study.
"We're not allowed to be above average...We're expected to be perfect," one respondent described. "We're expected to be the full package before our career has even started."
Nearly three in four Black respondents have also experienced racial microaggressions: "jokes about sin color, Africa, persistent questioning about where I really come from," one recalled. 57% of Black creators have also seen their white contemporaries promoted ahead of them, despite being less qualified.
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The study was commissioned by Black Lives in Music, an organization seeking to address and ameliorate race-based industry inequities, who partnered with Opinium Research and artist development agency Believe for the survey. In total, they collected data from a diverse pool of 1,718 participants.
"You cannot change what you cannot measure...This is data. You cannot ignore it," said Charisse Beaumont, the chief executive of BLiM, in a press release. "[It] clearly shows that change is needed across the entire music ecosystem, from grass room education all the way up to record labels."
You can download and read the full study here.