Alicia Keys has admitted it is “terrifying” having Black sons in such a hostile world.
The “Empire State of Mind” hitmaker — who has Egypt, 9, and Genesis, 6, with husband Swizz Beats — was pregnant with her second son in 2014 at a time of Black Lives Matters protests following the killing of an unarmed Black teenager by a White police officer in Missouri and she admitted the political climate weighed heavily on her mind.
Asked if she was anxious about having a baby boy at the time, she said: “It was terrifying. Am I concerned [for my sons]? Yes. Is that a terror? Yes. Is that horrifying to be even considering?
“That a child even has to think, about the police, ‘Is that a good guy or a bad guy?’ is crazy. There are plenty of honorable police, but to have to train yourself to think that nine out of 10 times it’s not going to go well… wow.”
While Keys previously avoided questions about race from her eldest son, she’s been tackling the subject with her younger child.
She said: “My youngest, Genesis, has been asking me a lot of questions recently, questions I would once have tried to find a way out of answering when talking to my eldest, Egypt.”
The 39-year-old star hates being described as a “celebrity” and finds it offensive that, just because she’s in the public eye, people assume she isn’t well educated or has considered opinions.
She told Telegraph magazine: “First of all, I despise the word celebrity, to me it’s such an empty word.
“And second of all, this idea that people who might be well-known are not supposed to be intelligent or thoughtful or interesting is a misconception and demeaning. People who tell artists or athletes who are very outspoken politically to just sing their song or just play their sport, it’s so rude.
“Anytime anyone says that, I say f— you. Because that’s what is wrong with America in a lot of ways, this idea of staying in your lane. And if we’re not involved in politics then that’s how crazy people start running things.”