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Music executives form The Black Music Coalition, call for industry reforms to end systemic racism

The newly formed organization signed an open letter

The Black Music Coalition have signed an open letter calling for industry reforms to end systemic racism.

The newly launched coalition, which includes black music industry executives from Warner, Sony, Universal Music Group, BMG, Live Nation, Spotify, and the Music Managers Forum, signed the letter asking companies and labels to immediately implement changes within their structures. 

Addressed to "Chairmen, CEOs, Presidents, and Music Industry Leaders", and published on IQ, the letter reads: "The past few weeks and months have been filled with visceral and overwhelming emotions of frustration, grief and sadness following the violent and untimely deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery in America and what the circumstances of their deaths repeated to us about the position of Black people, the value of Black lives and livelihood and of the pervasive stain of racism in our society." 

The recent death of George Floyd and others at the hands of systematic racism has sparked waves of protests and activism in industries worldwide. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was killed by a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, in May. Footage of the arrest shows Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, ignoring him as he repeatedly pleads, “I can’t breathe”. 

"As Black British people, we know of and have seen members of our community overpoliced, brutally treated and die at the hands of institutionally racist police forces and recount for example the deaths of Sarah Reed, Rashan Charles, Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg and many more," the letter continues. "Simply put, the UK is not innocent." 

Executives then detail how changes are essential in the fight against systematic racism within the music industry, and ask organizations to provide anti-racism training, allocate proceeds each year to Black initiatives and organisations, charities, and programmes, as well as requesting a number of corporate changes.

You can see the full letter and list of signees here.