Englewood based singer Alicia Keys got personal in a recent interview with Time Out New York about what it’s like to raise her two sons with husband Swizz Beatz, Egypt Daoud Dean, 5, and Genesis Ali Dean, 1, in a climate rife with so much violence.
The discussion took a serious turn when it came to current events and how they’ve affected her as a mother. “It’s an imperative time to be loud,” Alicia said.
She went on to explain, “We’re not going to be silenced. All of us are battling wars: sexism, ageism, racism. We’re fighting the war of borders. We’re fighting a war as women. As a black woman raising black sons, I’m seeing so much systemic racism exploding in our faces. These days you have to be afraid to be killed just because you’re black! It’s devastating. Outrageous statements are made out of fear and hate. The intolerance is not acceptable. It’s ancient and patriarchal. The way to propel our country forward is not by building walls. Anyone that thinks that is out of their mind.”
With Egypt about to turn 6 on October 14, Alicia is aware that they won’t be little boys forever. She told E!, “I don’t know how exactly aware they are, and I like that. I love them to just be able to be innocent.”
This isn’t the first time Alicia has spoken out about the wave of violence against black people in recent years. The Voice judge has shared support for the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter, and was part of a celebrity-filled video, “23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black in America,” earlier this year along with her husband as well as Beyoncé, Queen Latifah, Rihanna and other stars all speaking out against racism.
Before singing at the Democratic National Convention this summer, where she dedicated her performance to the “Mothers of the Movement” who’ve lost their children by violent means, Alicia said, “Women are the answer. We have the power to ensure this country gets on the right path…Until we deal with gun violence in this country, we can’t claim home of the brave.”