Mickey Guyton on how country music industry can create change: "Don’t be afraid to speak up"

ABC/Image Group LAMickey Guyton has penned an open letter advising the country music community on how to be more inclusive. 

In a personal letter published in BillboardMickey shares her insights into what the industry as a whole can do to alter systemic racism.

After explaining how she has long supported her white peers by prompting their work on her socials and attending promotional events, Mickey cites selflessness as part of the solution to the problem. 

"What can you do? The answer is simple: step outside of yourself for a moment and consider other people," she affirms. "My point to all of this is that we have a lot of work to do from the ground up. The slogan, 'If you see it, you can be it!' really rings true here. In order for someone to become something, they must first be seen. In order for there to be change, there must first be opportunity. With opportunity comes possibility."

She expands on this point by encouraging people in positions of power to provide opportunities and hire people of color, in addition to assuming a mentorship position with interns. 

"Country music is inspired by a lot of elements borrowed from the black and brown communities; yet black and brown artists are few and far between. Record executives and labels can do their part by looking for artists and musicians outside of the typical talent pool and look to the black and brown communities for actual talent, not just inspiration," she continues. 

"Lastly, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to speak up. Your voice matters...You cannot simply stay silent, as silence in the face of racism is the equivalent of acceptance of racism. If we all speak up as individuals, then our collective voice of anti-racism will be deafening and undeniable." 

By Cillea Houghton
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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