My name is Isanne Yard. I’m a black, Dutch Eurovision fan with Surinamese roots who has been watching Eurovision since 2000, when I was 8 years old. Even though I grew up with black music such as soul, R&B and traditional Surinamese music at home, I have an enormous passion for world music more generally. That’s partly due to watching Eurovision, where I’ve developed a fondness for Scandinavian and Balkan music in particular.

Just like you I’ve been watching what’s going on in America at the moment through social media. From the death of George Floyd to the violence that’s followed, I’ve been feeling pretty powerless. At the same time it’s been consoling to see so many influencers, artists, public speakers and just normal people like you and me using our respective platforms to speak up. In a weird way, this divisive topic has brought many of us together.

That was never more true for me than on Monday when I found myself in Amsterdam’s Dam Square with thousands of people protesting against racism and police brutality. The latter is so often a symptom of the former. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Racism shapes so much of the black experience. On that day I stood arm-to-arm with people protesting the killing of innocent men and women, the fact black people don’t always have equal access to education and jobs, that they haven’t achieved income quality in countless countries, and that they face higher barriers to entry in countless industries including entertainment.

As a Dutch woman, I was also objecting to the fact that kids are not always taught about Dutch involvement in the transatlantic slave trade and that in my own country huge numbers of people still think it’s okay to dress up as a blackface character with red lipstick, golden earrings and a black afro wig — a perversion of what my ancestors looked like — as part of a traditional kids’ celebration. I was protesting against racism towards black people everywhere because I am sick and tired of senseless deaths and cruelty. But I also drew hope from the fact I wasn’t standing alone. White people, Asian people, Latin people — people from these and so many other communities stood by our side. We are all sick and tired of the status quo.

So what does Eurovision have to do with racism or Black Lives Matter? And why is it important for Eurofans to take a moment, to sit down on #BlackOutTuesday and after to think about what’s going on? Well, the answer is that Eurovision, so long at the forefront of reflecting social change, has a part to play too. It can expose people to new visions — of the world and of themselves — something I’ve learned in my 20 years as a Eurofan.

Racism, of course, pre-dates Eurovision by a few millennia. It’s important to go back in time and confront some uncomfortable history. So let’s #OpenUp.

The racism of today can be traced back centuries to slavery, which fostered a culture in which black people were seen as sellable and inhuman — inferior to their white masters. I’m not just talking about the United States. But also the Caribbean, the northern parts of South America and Brazil. In the 1800s European countries finally started to abolish slavery. The Dutch ended the practice in 1863 for my ancestors in Suriname, but forced people to work on plantations for another ten years, as they brought in Asian labourers to help rebuild the country. It’s not even 150 years since the Netherlands ended slavery. Those attitudes of ownership of and disrespect toward black people have been passed on to slave traders’ children, their grandchildren and so on.

All of that underlies the institutional racism that’s led to inequality and brutality. But also the increasingly vocal response from my generation, which has had enough. The “Black Lives Matter” movement recognises that silence is oppression, which keeps people down, which keeps them from advancing and which keeps the hierarchy intact. In a way, silence is violence at the same time.

Eurovision, black performers and me

It’s sometimes difficult for a majority group to understand, but it’s a blessing to be able to see people like yourself on television. Whether you’re a gay kid growing up and only seeing straight romances, or a black kid watching TV and only seeing white couples, it’s in not seeing someone like yourself that you start to feel invisible.

When I was eight years old I watched Eurovision in front of the TV and made a list of of the particular jobs I’d like to have backstage. It was a rarity to see anyone on TV who shared my skin colour. Eurovision was largely filled with white performers. Thankfully there were black stars who made their way to that stage and gave me an inkling of inclusion and who let me know that you can, in fact, get where you want to go.

It’s kind of ironic to me that the first black singer at Eurovision hails from The Netherlands. Milly Scot — a Dutch singer and actress of Surinamese origin — performed way back at Eurovision 1966. It may have taken ten years for a country to be brave enough to send a singer with African roots to be the face of the nation, but better late than never. She opened so many doors for other singers who would later participate at Eurovision themselves. That her song “Fernando & Fillipo” was a rumba song — a musical style that was invented by African slaves who brought it to the Americas, in particular Cuba — was a harbinger of the more international sound Eurovision would welcome in the years ahead.

Milly’s legacy has given way to other amazing black artists, who helped kids like me see a reflection of ourselves — and our potential — at Eurovision. I feel lucky that I can now count more than a few. Dave Benton won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001 with his musical partner Tanel with the song “Everybody”, which truly was for everybody, and Destiny Chukunyere was the very first black kid to win the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2015. For now, it’s just these two black people who have managed to raise the Eurovision trophy. On some level that’s unfortunate. But it is a start.

We have to look further down the scoreboard for other black artists. Many of them have achieved huge success outside of Eurovision, but struggled at the contest itself. Among the non-qualifiers, there is the beautiful Glennis Grace who sang “My Impossible Dream’’ in 2005, only to be eliminated in the semi-finals. Then there was that gorgeous Norwegian-Kenyan star Stella Mwangi — a bookies’ favourite with “Haba Haba” who ended 17th….in her semi-final. And let’s not forget France 2010 — the loveable Jessy Matador who was born in Congo and sang “Allez, Ola, Ole,” which was also an official song for the FIFA World Cup 2010. He didn’t reach the Top 10. And of course, there’s the Congolese-Ukrainian singer Gaitana, who sang “Be My Guest”, finishing 15th in 2012. That was Ukraine’s worst result for a while. No matter. These were all baby steps in a much bigger picture. The fact is their contributions — visibility and inclusion — are worth far more than any set of douze points.

A year later, in 2013, I had my first on-the-ground Eurovision experience in Malmö, volunteering with a fan site. I remember the experience so well — the joy of watching rehearsals for the first time and hanging out with so many enthusiastic Eurovision fans. But it was painful to see there was not even one black solo artist on stage — the only black performers were Anouk’s background singers. In the press room, I only encountered two black journalists. It makes you pause. You want to see people from your community up on that stage and down in the press centre living their best life. There’s no shortage of black men and women who want to be there. But for any number of reasons they weren’t.

It seems to me, though, that there is reason for hope. Increasingly the world of black music is influencing the world of pop music at large. Countless mainstream artists credit the likes of Michael Jackson, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Tupac, Tina Turner, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey as inspirations. And we see the influence of black artists creeping into Eurovision, too. Who among us hears Aretha Franklin in Destiny’s “All of My Love”, Megan Thee Stallion or Cardi B in Athena Manoukian’s “Chains On You”, or Bruno Mars in Ben Dolic’s “Violent Thing”?

Bit by bit the tide does seem to be turning, both in terms of results and representation. We had András Kállay-Saunders — the Hungarian-African-American making the Top 5 in 2014, and Sweden’s John Lundvik reaching the Top 5 in 2019. Austria’s Cesár Sampson finished third overall and topped the jury — proving that skin colour doesn’t have to be a barrier.

And I take great pride in gains my country has made in celebrating black people on the Eurovision stage. In 2008, Hind, who has Moroccan roots, represented The Netherlands. Edsilia Rombley, who has Aruban roots, did it twice in 1998 and 2007, and even hosted the recent Eurovision 2020 replacement programme Eurovison: Europe Shine a Light. Franklin Brown (1996), Humphrey Campbell (1992) and Ruth Jacott (1993) all lent their voices — and faces — to racial diversity at Eurovision.

Among the many tragedies of the cancellation of Eurovision 2020? Not seeing a year of black excellence come to life. Eurovision 2020 had a record number of black artists singing at the biggest music entertainment TV show in the world. We’re talking about 7 acts out of 41. Sweden, Denmark, Israel, Malta, San Marino, Czech Republic and the Netherlands, all bringing diversity to the table.Thankfully five of these acts have been confirmed for Eurovision 2021.

Of the returning artists next year, I naturally feel a particular connection to Jeangu Macrooy — the host country’s torchbearer for the Open Up slogan. Jeangu — a gay, Surinamese singer-songwriter — moved to The Netherlands in 2014 to study music. His self-composed masterpiece “Grow” calls for change and inclusion, encouraging us to address our many problems by sharing them in open dialogue. His participation represents more than just three minutes, especially to those of us who have always perceived ourselves as outsiders at the contest — and often outside of it too.

It’s my prayer and my wish that through their talent and their presence, their voices and their stories, these artists win new fans and bring people together. In doing so they’ll offer further proof of what most of us already understand: that black lives really do matter.

You can learn more about racial injustice and access resources to combat it on the Black Lives Matter web site. 

 

Comments on this post have now been closed. Thank you for being part of the conversation.

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HBau
HBau
4 months ago

While the article is a little unclear when it comes to using African origin or Black when discussing the artists – if the former, include Loreen, if the latter, include Isaiah and Jess Mauboy, for example – ‘but what about this handful of examples around the margins of precise term use’ kind of proves that Eurovision is still an overwhelmingly white contest, and that it can only benefit from diversity making the question of who is and isn’t different fade.

Yannis
Yannis
4 months ago

Unfortunately not a single Black winner!

Dan
Dan
4 months ago
Reply to  Yannis

One, Estonia 2001

Polliu
Polliu
4 months ago

And people who got brutally killed by Chinese government and that of North Korean also matter. But no artist even cares.

Yannis
Yannis
4 months ago
Reply to  Polliu

there is injustices all around the world! But fairly the attention at the moment is for Black people

Tajikistan
Tajikistan
4 months ago

Take your racist venom off this site.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago

Your words: “When looking at the U.S the crime rate for black people is significantly higher than of people not of colour.” Think about that for more than one second. Try to think about why that might be. If you think that Black people are somehow ‘naturally’ more prone to criminality than you are being idiotic and racist. Consider how you would feel if everyone you meet who has any power over you–when you’re trying to get a job, when you’re trying to get a place to live, when you want to get a loan to buy a car–thinks like… Read more »

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I agree with you 100% Jimmy. Glad we found common ground.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I think we were always on fairly common ground, Joe.

I think there’s a perception problem right now that distorts how wide ‘common ground’ is – and makes it seem like common ground is increasingly narrow. I see this partly coming from the echo chambers and tribalisms of social media. There’s also a tendency to see any type of questioning as inherently divisive, rather than as a desire to learn or explore an issue and the way it’s being articulated.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

In other news, I had a virtual ESC 2020 with friends, we did both SFs and a GF, and…San Marino won 🙂

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I like your friends! Good taste.

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

Thank you for this article, Wiwibloggs! Representation matters. Several of Black artists have brought good and some downright amazing songs on ESC – Jeangu, Kallay-Saunders, Cesar Sampson, Senhit ( in 2011, hopefully in 2021 as well), Eden Alene, Jade Ewen, John Lundvik & The Mamas, Jessy Matador … ect. I’d also like to highlight some of the Black artists who haven’t won their NFs, but still brought quality to the ESC world – Jaz Ellington, Asanda, Kerrie-Anne, Emmy Liyana, Lisandro Cuxi, Akuvi, Panetoz, Faith Kakembo, Calema brothers, Matay, Makeda… ect. Some of them were my personal NF winners. A lot… Read more »

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Black non-winning NF artists is a nice idea for an article, Colin.

Colin
Colin
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Thanks, Jimmy! I’d like to see all of the people I mentioned (and more) at some point at ESC.

Kaden
Kaden
4 months ago

In my opinion Eurovision fans enjoy looking outside their own country to Europe and in turn the whole world.

You soon realise that the world is full of different types of people (race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, etc) and you soon learn to see the positives in each of the difference. And then you realise that at the end of the day we are all human just trying to build memories and happiness.

If a person doesn’t have an open mind or want to learn or value all lives equally – there in lies the problem.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago

Jews are not a monolithic group.* Judaism—like all major world religions— has both religious diversity (of denominations, such as Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews, and Reform Jews) and ethnic diversity (the most well known groups being Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Mizrahi). Israel also keeps statistics on Jews born in Israel (Sabras) and Jewish immigrants to Israel. Eden Alene offers an interesting example because she is part of Israel’s Ethiopian Jewish community, which originates from ‘Beta Israel’, formed by Jews who migrated south of Egypt some 4,000 years ago—which is accounted for in the Tanakh (the Jewish name for what Christians call the… Read more »

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

Sorry this was meant to be a reply to Ivan’s question, not a new post.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I hope this post is helpful and doesn’t get deleted for being too long.

Darren
Darren
4 months ago

Agreed.
The songs mentioned above, especially the Armenians ones are just there to look good though. Sexy Kardashian-esque girl with fire and dancers to cover up a rather soulless song.
They only really send the song because they have to send something resembling a SONG to a SONG contest, but in reality it’s all about what’s happening on stage.
However I would disagree with beautiful mess, bones they where great songs. Sure, probably mass produced in the Swedish factory, offered to more than one participant but they are actually decent tracks.

Darren
Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Qami yes, Chains on you though just felt like more of the same.
Qami was authentic, Armenian and heartfelt.
But yes, I do agree with your points.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

“Bones” and “Beautiful Mess” are Symphonix and Milanov.
AFAIR LoveWave was Swedish and Fly with Me was Armenian or partly Armenian (lyrics were made by an Armenian).
All four acts mentioned here had Swedish staging LOL.

viridESCent
viridESCent
4 months ago

All of those except Scream were amazing and far from soulless.

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
4 months ago

There is a controversy I once read about and I want to talk about. Can Israel be considered a non-white country? Israel is mostly Jewish and I’ve heard Jews don’t consider themselves white, is this true?

Colin
Colin
4 months ago

I second Jimmy’s post about people of Jewish descent being of different heritages, so I guess it depends from person to person. It also comes down to defining white. I believe that most people of Jewish heritage are just as white as Scandinavians, Germanic, Slavic or any other European people (Most of Israelis fled from Europe after WWII). Many of them are pale-ish, can have traits such as blue / green eyes and blond / red hair even without a mixed heritage. Look-wise, I’d say so. Unfortunately, term ”white” has been falsely used by racists in the past to discredit… Read more »

Darren
Darren
4 months ago

It never bothered me if a country was represented by a person of colour, in a SONG contest I always focus on the song, regardless of who is singing it and what country the song is representing. Eurovision has always been diverse. We have had just about every walk of life on the Eurovision stage, White, Black, Middle Eastern, Asian-Pacific, African, North American, South American, straight, gay, bi, transgender, drag, Male, female. Eurovision is and always has been a diverse and engaging format for everyone. To begin a system of box ticking exercises and quotas and data crunching is incredibly… Read more »

Erdi
Erdi
4 months ago

Great article!
Turkey also sent an Afro-Turk to the contest. Melis Sökmen who is half-Guinean was part of Grup Lokomotif that represented Turkey with Seyyal Taner in 1987.
The most famous Afro-Turk singer, beloved Esmeray also participated the national selection as a part of Grup Sekstet in 1978 with a song “Insaniz Biz” (We are Human)

You should check “Insaniz Biz” out, the song has an important message and the staging was very interesting.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Erdi

That’s so cool!

Zornaddie
Zornaddie
4 months ago

I’m so glad, that I live in Europe and watch Eurovision. Eurovision shows us, that it doesn’t matter what your race is, what your gender is, what your sexual orientation is, you can be a winner anyways! <3

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Zornaddie

Yes, I agree. It’s important to remember what progress we have made in Europe and what things like Eurovision do get right. There are similarities between discrimination in the US and Europe, but also a lot of differences—the history, the context, and the way Black exploitation and discrimination in the US was pioneered for economic purposes, fortified through culture, and politically institutionalised. The global prominence of the US, and the ubiquity of American culture, makes their country’s specific problems apparent and felt across the world but they’re not necessarily translated.

Polliu
Polliu
4 months ago
Reply to  Zornaddie

And Dami got racist comments when she competed in 2016, so do other performers who are not WHITE!

Edd Keith
Edd Keith
4 months ago

Really great article!

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
4 months ago

We should indeed fight to end racism as fast as possible but I can’t stop thinking that we’re doing it wrong… The slogan should be Human Lives Matter, as black people are, well, people, and not a separated group. And I don’t want to see a black artist doing well in Eurovision because of their skin colour, I want them to do well of they’re good. Some people are trying to lead us to equality but doing that while separating us even more. Where you see colour, I still see people before colour. The case of George Floyd was horrendous…… Read more »

viridESCent
viridESCent
4 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

I understand your point, but it’s called Black Lives Matter because too often black people are put at a disadvantage against everyone else. It’s not Only Black Lives Matter, it’s Black Lives Matter just as much as everyone else. That’s why it’s called that. Also, saying that you “don’t see colour” is just BS. That’s erasing the centuries of culture and intrinsic identity to anyone who is proud of being their race.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
4 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

What I meant by ‘not seeing colour’ was that I see people and I treat them equally, not that I don’t care or something about their culture and history 🙂
And yea, I understand the point of Black Lives Matter but I’m afraid some people got it wrong, thinking all others are left behind .

Tibor
Tibor
4 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

BLM is not about you or me, it’s about structural racism baked into the very fabric of our societies. So not seeing colour may well be the ultimate goal in this struggle, but at the moment you have to acknowledge the existence of colour to be able to see how it affects people’s lives differently. Fact is, POC face far more oppression, violence and disadvantages than white folks. That has multiple reasons, too many to thoroughly discuss them in a Eurovision forum. But just ignoring this fact because we’d wish to live in a world ruled by equal opportunities for… Read more »

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Very well said, Tibor. I agree whole heartedly with *everything* you said here.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Capitalism is not designed to create equal opportunities for everyone and it will never produce ‘equality’. Discrimination of particular groups should also be understood within that context.

Tibor
Tibor
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I don’t disagree. Capitalism is primarily beneficial to those who already have capital in all its forms, and that means: white people. Moreover, capitalism is at the base of exploiting labor and that means, it is at the base of slavery (the cruellest and most extensive form of exploitation). I’m not sure if capitalism is per se unable to produce equal opportunity, but it’s certainly fuelled by inequality. So to adress the problem of racism properly, we also have to tackle the inadequacies of capitalism.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Exactly. Capitalism is racialised. Apartheid in South Africa was a prime example of this connection.

(My comment above wasn’t to argue with you, I was expanding on the point about equal opportunity).

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

As someone who is mixed raced (father-Ethiopian, mother-English), I don’t think it is ‘BS’ for Roy to say that. I don’t need to check the ethnicity of a singer (or their age or sexual orientation) before deciding if I like the song or not.

viridESCent
viridESCent
4 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

That’s not the point I was demonstrating. I never said that it should be a factor in deciding whether you like a song. I said that saying you don’t see colour erases any culture and pride one may have in their race.

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

agree with everything u said, I do understand the point why is “Black Lives Matter” called that way, but I do agree that it’s causing even more of a divide…

stommie
stommie
4 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

“Not seeing colour” is white privilege. Only people who don’t experience racism have the luxury of claiming they don’t see colour.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
4 months ago
Reply to  stommie

In Israel, people are still talking quite a lot about the differences between Jewish people from Europe and the Arabic-countries-Jewish people, such as Northern African countries, the Middle East etc.
So I still hear it a lot, even about my origins, but I still see people before colour.
Plus, I’m gay, so I also have to face homophobia every now and then (though I’m lucky enough to barely experience it).
Colour exists, definitely, I’m just not judging people by it.
I must say that I love how people here are discussing so politely 🙂

Kat
Kat
4 months ago
Reply to  Roy Moreno

I understand your intentions are good, but the problem is this: if you ‘don’t see colour,’ you don’t see PATTERNS. Patterns of consistent injustice and oppression, and systems heavily weighted against them. Until centuries – millennia, even – of this is healed, we HAVE to see colour in order to see the hurt that’s been caused and work to mend it and make it better.

Roy Moreno
Roy Moreno
4 months ago
Reply to  Kat

I do see patterns. I just meant that personally, when I meet someone, I will treat that person with respect, no matter their colour 🙂

Tibor
Tibor
4 months ago

The amount of racism and biased science and decontextualized statistics interwoven with random culture relativist talking points in this comments section is more disheartening than surprising. We get this kind of talk under nearly every article on artists of colour. You need to moderate these discussions more.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Tibor

Amen to that.

Kosey
Kosey
4 months ago

Hatari were right all along. This is another example of power and powerlessness. When will the world ever learn? Will it ever learn?

Indiana07
Indiana07
4 months ago

I’ve actually noticed that juries tend to give black performers high points. Except France 2010.

WannaEatMySpaghetti
WannaEatMySpaghetti
4 months ago
Reply to  Indiana07

They give good points to good singers. César, John Lundvik (because they are the ones we all think of) were great singers. The Mamas and Destiny would have received a lot of points too.

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago

and that’s how it should be – not awarding them for being black, but also not blanking them for being black. Just judging their performance and song.

Raul
Raul
4 months ago

Some people are putting across information, but that is not enough in a topic like this. Black life in America might be just as violent as some of you just described, but why is it? Because they’ve been left out of all the progress, although their hard work has largely contributed to it. It’s only natural that this community is filled with hatred and frustration, but it’s totally inspiring to see most of them channel all these feelings through pacific protests. #BlackLivesMatter, end of discussion.

Una
Una
4 months ago

Thanks wiwibloggs and Isanne for this post. All the best.

joe
joe
4 months ago

All lives matter, simple as that. The content of your character is what counts. Not your skin color

Giorgio
Giorgio
4 months ago

By your reasoning, we should never see a gay person representing a country because most of the population is straight.

You are racist. Seek help immediately.

Ermin
Ermin
4 months ago

Leave Eastern Europe alone. It doesn’t have a history of slavery. It will have more and more black people because there are free countries now and people travel.
You must admit Black Lives Matter is not very wise slogan. Why not talking about all people?

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

Gaitana.

Will
Will
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

If your mom just died and my response is “All Moms Matter” would that be appropriate? No. That’s the answer to your question.

Giorgio
Giorgio
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

Eastern Europe does have however a rich history of racism. It is amazing and beautiful that a country like Ukraine (Among others) sent a black artist to Eurovision.

Black lives matter. Look up “why saying all lives matter is wrong” and hopefully you too will get on with the times.

Marko
Marko
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

Ermin, racism is when you wanna take a photo with a black person because you had never seen a black person before on your school trip in a high school. And you wanna say that there is no racism towards Roma people in our countries? And do you wanna know why the slogan is #BlackLivesMatter? It’a because our lives are not in danger because of our skin. People are not getting killed just cause their white, but black people do. All other lives already matter, so it would be absurd and ignorant to generalize this while we are able to… Read more »

Denis
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

You dont get Black Lives Matter if it needs to be explained. It doesn’t mean that only Black Lives matters, it means that Black Lives Matters too.

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago
Reply to  Ermin

To be fair to Ermin, Eastern Europe have provided the only Eurovision winner of colour so far. And that was 19 years ago, with a 100% televote.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

I don’t know how much Estonia likes being called Eastern Europe

James
James
4 months ago

I saw her Eurovision video chat party with Alesia Michelle a few weeks ago, seeing both her glee about having so many black artists enter the contest this year and her disappointment that we won’t be able to see them perform following the cancelation.

There’s still much work to do but seeing Eurovision showcasing such diversity is a great reflection of what the world can be at its best.

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
4 months ago

Thank you so much for this article, Isanne. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Europe is, and always was, a mix of different cultures, nations and races, especially when you live in a country where people of colour make up less than one percent of population. I’d like to think that something as primitive as racism is long past, but unfortunately it’s still not the case. A couple of years ago a very good, well-liked student (and a pretty talented singer, by the way) from my former school got cyberbullied and called horrible names after appearing in a photo on… Read more »

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
4 months ago

Such articles and comments are a good reminder than the Eurovision fandom are a lot more progressive when it comes to race than the contest itself is. There have been far too many years (even recently) without a single black contestant. Unacceptable in a contest with 30-40 countries participating and a reminder that there’s a long way to go.

Trololl
Trololl
4 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

The contest is about the best song, not about what color the performer’s skin is. Period

Loin dici
Loin dici
4 months ago
Reply to  Trololl

Yes, and no. It’s all about the best song, as example, but if a non-white person has the best song in a national final, we should vote for it, no? Sometimes it rarely happens.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Briekimchi

Not counting backing singers (such as Blackstreet for North Macedonia), these are the stats on Black representation at Eurovision as lead or co-lead performers by year. 7: 2020 (Netherlands, Israel, Denmark, Sweden, San Marino, Czech Republic, Malta) 4: 1995 (Austria, Germany, Portugal, United Kingdom), 1999 (Israel, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway), 2011 (United Kingdom, San Marino, Norway, Portugal) 3: 1998 (France, Netherlands, United Kingdom) 2: 1992 (France, Netherlands), 2001 (Estonia, Portugal), 2002 (Sweden, Russia), 2005 (United Kingdom, Netherlands), 2007 (Romania, Netherlands), 2008 (Germany, United Kingdom), 2012 (Ukraine, Romania), 2014 (France, Hungary), 2015 (Latvia, Switzerland), 2018 (Austria, Bulgaria) 1: 1966… Read more »

Skiwalko
Skiwalko
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Poland has also sent a black singer to Eurovision – David J from The Jet Set (2007) was of South African ancestry.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Skiwalko

It’s just bizarre that there’s never been more than four Black lead or co-lead singers at Eurovision until what would’ve been this year. Makes me really hope the Mamas try for 2021 at least.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

There are historical reasons why the statistics are this way, and why there has been a recent trend to greater representation — why do you think it’s ‘bizarre’ particularly that the statistics are the way that they are? Would you have expected something else to be more usual, perhaps that Eurovision would have pushed a diversity agenda earlier?

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I mean, fair enough. It wasn’t on people’s minds at Eurovision’s inception, to be sure.

Jimmy Smit
Jimmy Smit
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

That’s an interesting and useful list, thanks Joe. It might be useful to also consider a statistical list for all non-white and mixed backgrounds. In the latter, the number for 2019 would jump from 1 to 10, 2018 would jump from 2 to 6, and 2017 would jump from 1 to 7,

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I was thinking about that, and in terms of PoC on the whole it’s not as bad, but considering the topic at hand is specifically about Black representation at Eurovision, that’s what I kept it to.

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

It would be interesting to have a similar list of songwriters, they’re as important as the performers. Easier said than done, I know.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

The biggest example there would be Cesar Sampson, who’s done a lot of songwriting besides his own entry (including this year). The only black songwriter (as far as I know) who’s won the whole contest is Jim Beanz, who co-wrote “Believe” with Dima Bilan.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I think I’ve read sonewhere that Timbaland was involved in some way with the song’s production too.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  James

He was. It’s amazing how Timbaland at the peak of his powers (by 2008, he was coming off some career-defining work for acts like Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, and OneRepublic) and one of his producers can team up and turn in a song as garbage as “Believe.” It doesn’t sound at all like the same guy behind “Get Ur Freak On” or “Say It Right.”

Fatima
Fatima
4 months ago

One of the many missed moments from Rotterdam 2020 would have been any appearance by Milly Scott. I hope that happens in 2021. Also, let’s not forget the late Wess Ghezzi, who was on the podium in 1975.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Fatima

As of now, Black people who have finished top five at Eurovision include: 1st place – Dave Benton (Estonia 2001) 2nd place – Rob Pilatus of Wind (Germany 1987), Joelle Ursull (France 1990), Imaani (United Kingdom 1998) 3rd place – Wess (Italy 1975), Cesar Sampson (Austria 2018) 4th place – Edsilia Rombley (Netherlands 1998) 5th place – Eddie and Gabriel Butler of Eden (Israel 1999), Jade Ewen (United Kingdom 2009), Andras Kallay-Saunders (Hungary 2014), John Lundvik (Sweden 2019) It’s kinda messed up that in all 60-odd years of Eurovision, only one year has had two Black performers in the top… Read more »

Denis
Denis
4 months ago

Great article! Very important and I think we all need to read it, to hear it. Even if we claim to not be racists or prejudice we need to wake up. We sill choose to ignore or be blind about these kind of things., sort of not our business thinking. We need to let those who need to speak get heard. Unfortunately I don¨t think these protests will have any affect. Racism is so deeply rooted in our society, not just in U.S. But here too. There is always that one person or persons that will stare at you, or… Read more »

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Well, here in the USA, the main cop behind George Floyd’s murder was upgraded to a sentence of second-degree murder and the other three cops were all indicted, so we’re making some progress there.

Denis
Denis
4 months ago

You are saying Black people aren’t a part of the continent and only white people should go on stage? Man that Balkan mentality is toxic. Glad I don’t live there any more. Have you even seen a black person?
Black people are Europeans too, have been for generations. Their culture is our culture too. Eurovision isn’t only for folk traditions and Balkan instruments. Minorities needs to be represented too.

Fabio
Fabio
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

“You cannot argue that most people of colour have different cultures from the majority of Europe”…. Oh, yeah, they offer human sacrifices to their gods in an altar they have built in their own flat… They even eat their raw bloody heats sometimes, too. Come on, most ‘people of colour’ are fully integrated and live the same dull existence of the rest. What you’re saying is a load of bs. If you ask me, Kingdom Come sucked as a song and Bulletproof was nothing without the visual/lighting effect. I’m not a fan of Move either, but I don’t think those… Read more »

Denis
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

The Mammas won because Swedes found them the best . Simple as. Nothing more. No explanation needed. If we thought Sandman had the best song we would have voted for him. People just found it to slick, to shallow, to polished. Bergendahl had an old fashioned song, Robin Bengtsson won recently.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Bulgaria number uno – you say you’re from Australia so it’s rich of you to make these statements considering the systematic abuse of white Australians against the Aboriginal population. Australia has a scandalous history regarding this. And the problems are ongoing. You say nothing about this. You forget to give the example of your alleged country that sent PoC artists in all years bar one who was a first gen Australian with a white Scandinavian background on both sides of her family. And of course you have no clue what you’re talking about when talking about alleged studies from top… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Australia has got with its own extremely problematic history with Aboriginal people, plus another issues.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

I just said the same thing (plus more) and my comment got filtered.

viridESCent
viridESCent
4 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

As an Australian, I completely agree. We as a country have so much to do to better our treatment of Aboriginal people. The only thing we’ve really done is have a speech where our PM essentially just said “Sorry”. Like wtf, that’s not enough. There is so much systematic racism in my country and it makes me disgusted. We don’t even learn any Aboriginal languages in any of our schools. I will say, though, that I am very proud that we have sent two Aboriginal artists, Jessica and Isaiah, (and five people of colour, everyone except KMH), as well as… Read more »

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

viridESCent my sincere sympathy. Thanks for sharing this. And I will apologize for I had forgotten to mention KHM. I mistook Anja for Australia instead of Denmark. My bad. An Australian of Danish heritage represented Denmark, not Australia!

viridESCent
viridESCent
4 months ago
Reply to  Una

No need to have sympathy! I am neither Aboriginal nor a person of colour (I am a white Australian), so I have no experience of personal racism, but I have experience of seeing Aboriginal people being yelled at and being the victim of racial abuse. I’m just a campaigner for all of us in Australia having equal rights since discrimination against Aboriginal people is so blatant. And with the Anja thing it was an honest mistake and doesn’t really matter, so it’s all good. 🙂

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  viridESCent

Thanks for your understanding, viridESCent. I salute your good deeds 🙂

ag89
ag89
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Denis, your comment is, no matter how good your intention was, also very problematic and hypocritical. First of all, please do not use such generalizations about the Balkans and also, there is no such a thing like “Balkan mentality”. Your comment is basically equal to those comments people write about blacks.

Denis
Denis
4 months ago
Reply to  ag89

I don’t generalize, I am from Balkan myself. There absolutely is Balkan mentality. Admitting there is one and you have it is the first step to overcome prejudice. And Balkans is not toxic but prejudice and racism is a thing there. Not even deep south of US is that backwards. You can get away with calling people anything. I can tell you all sorts of things black people have been called. Not to mention the Roma population. Or the things they actually do towards Roma population But I don’t think it’s appropriate to write it here..

ag89
ag89
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Denis, even if there is such a thing as “Balkan mentality”, still portraying it through solely negative views and descriptions, is highly problematic, which leads us again to the word “generalization”. That’s all I want to say. Prejudices and racism is not a Balkan product, it is a product you find across the globe, including the Balkans. But saying racism is, let’s say something that is part of “Balkan mentality”, is far from truth. Ethno-nationalism is a big issue here and the US “take” on racism cannot be applied in the Balkans simply because our (Balkan) experience is totally different.… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
4 months ago
Reply to  Denis

“…there are actual studies from top universities that tell us that people of colour are in general not as smart as others”
You don’t say. And what would these studies and these top universities be? Not that I doubt that there’s a lot of racist stuff going on at “top universities” as well, but I need a source for such a claim.

Peter M
Peter M
4 months ago

I honestly don’t care what colour the person is as long as they are there on merit and not just because they are a minority. We’ re all people and really need to stop identifying as black and white. If you’re good enough, then you deserve to be there

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

And why does this topic of conversation only seem to come up when a person of color is selected to represent a country? Because nobody was complaining about sending another white guy, but the moment a country like the Netherlands or Sweden picks a Black performer, all I hear is “oh they’re just picking him/her/them because he’s/she’s/they’re a minority and that earns you brownie points at Eurovision.” I’ve heard this about people of color at Eurovision, LGBTQ+ performers at Eurovision, plus-sized performers at Eurovision, performers with disabilities at Eurovision…I gotta say, I’m getting pretty sick of it. Europe isn’t one… Read more »

Peter M
Peter M
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Actually, the Netherlands is one of my favourites this year. I really like the song. Jeangu seems like a really nice guy and he completely deserves to be there.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

Again, very “some of my best friends are Black” of you. Also, an unfortunate amount of people were saying he only got picked for being Black and gay, and good on you for not being one of them, but you’ve still got a lot to learn.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Whoever’s downvoting all of these is a troll who doesn’t want this contest or the world in general to evolve past their narrow worldview.

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I agree that we should all be represented. But I don’t know if you’ve seen it, BUT THERE was MUCH more complaining when Sweden was sending white males than there was complaining with the Mamas, but nobody talks about that issue. I believe Sweden has always send people who deserved to win…

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Because if there’s any group that’s underprivileged and misunderstood, it’s white males. And if you honestly think every act Sweden’s ever picked deserved to go, then boy do I have a few to ask you about.

Duncan
4 months ago

Did you really need to bring ‘zwarte piet’ into it?

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Duncan

As an example of institutional racism from her home country that persists because it’s “tradition” regardless of the obvious inherent wrongness of it? Yeah, I’d say it fits.

willchrisiam
willchrisiam
4 months ago
Reply to  Duncan

Do you really think that’s not important? It’s disgusting and insulting.

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
4 months ago
Reply to  Duncan

It’s gonna be brought up until the “tradition” dies. Deal with it.

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  Duncan

Yes. As it should.

Giorgio
Giorgio
4 months ago
Reply to  Duncan

You sound like a typical racist Dutchman. Stop making your country look bad when a fellow countrywoman is making it look good.

Kim
Kim
4 months ago

An important article and one of the best I’ve read on this site. Thank you for your strong words.

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
4 months ago

Imagine if eurovision went on and ukraine send fo sho with black square. That would have been so oddly relevant.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

So basically the idea of having too many people of color at Eurovision scares you and you’d feel more comfortable with White people?

Evan W.
Evan W.
4 months ago

Saying you loved Too Late For Love and Nobody But You is like saying I have a black friend so i’m not racist. News flash Black people live in Europe too, black people where born in Europe too, generations of black people have lived in Europe. What you have said is extremely racist so please do use a favor and leave this community, you are not welcome here.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Evan W.

A short list of countries that have been represented by people of color at Eurovision: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. And that’s just off the top of my head and I probably forgot a few. But yeah, tell me again how Europe is predominantly white?

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

And as it turns out, there’s also Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Poland, and Switzerland.

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Finland too had a PoC participant in 2016: Sandhja – half Finnish and half from West Indies AFAIR. I remember her saying she was very proud of the West Indies heritage.

Deban
Deban
4 months ago

Isanne, your article touched me very deeply. Thank you for sharing your story. I have bookmarked this post because I know that I will be reading your words over and over again.

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago
Reply to  Deban

I (HEART) DEBAN!

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
4 months ago

Don’t think that’s a problem really

RavensHeart
RavensHeart
4 months ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

like at all

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

Also, let’s not forget that this site is co-run by a Vietnamese-American and a Black Brit. Wiwibloggs is probably one of the only Eurovision sites run or co-run by people of color and that means a lot.

acp
acp
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

I am actually shocked that William is Vietnamese-American, I thought he was American only! That’s cool!

poe-tay-toe-chips
poe-tay-toe-chips
4 months ago
Reply to  acp

Vietnamese-Americans are just as American as Americans of European descent. I understand what you are trying to say but I feel the need to point this out because of your wording.

Giorgio
Giorgio
4 months ago

Stop whitewashing, poe, it’s not cute. William is more proud of his heritage than with the fact that he is American.

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago
Reply to  Giorgio

Well who would proud of being an American huh?

“it’s a joke”

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

This is a fantastic, important article that was long-overdue for any Eurovision fan site. Thank you, Isanne, for sharing your story. If we really claim to “celebrate diversity,” we need to show it and make it clear that no matter what your race, you are welcome to join the Eurovision party, be it onstage, in the crowd, or in the press center.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

(I also really wish we had this article when the racist Benny Cristo haters were raiding a fuss three months ago)

Giorgio
Giorgio
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

THIS.

It reminded me of the Austrian backlash against Conchita when she was selected to represent the country. I sometimes wonder what those people thought when Conchita went on to win the whole thing.

Kris
Kris
4 months ago

I sometimes find it very hypocritical but then I see why it’s needed. The ultimate aim for such articles and movements is that in the future articles like these need not be written. I hope we see that future soon.

1TruSeer
1TruSeer
4 months ago

Whether you are Black, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern, European, etc we all matter, All Lives Matter.

The only colour that matters is red, we all bleed the same red blood!

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  1TruSeer

Lord have mercy, if you actually say All Lives Matter you are completely missing the point of this whole movement. Do some research.

Giorgio
Giorgio
4 months ago
Reply to  1TruSeer

Look up “why saying all lives matter is wrong”.

Milan
Milan
4 months ago
Reply to  Giorgio

How absurd that if you say “all lives matter” with perfectly good intent, you are suddenly a racist. Also absurd that if you say something perfectly obvious, like “we all bleed the same red blood”, apparently also with good intent, you get minuses. Of course all lives matter. And yes, this wording is often maliciously used by those who want to relativize and diminish the meaning of “black lives matter”, which is a horrible misuse of truth. But if a person comes and honestly says “all lives matter”, to me it expresses a support to “black lives matter”. Rude answers… Read more »

James
James
4 months ago
Reply to  1TruSeer

You can actually be both Latino and Asian (Harry Shum Jr.), Middle Eastern (Salma Hayek), European (Michel Brown).

Latino is not a race.

Peter M
Peter M
4 months ago

This whole thing has nothing to do with race and everything to do with culture. Nobody hates anyone just because of the colour of their skin. It’s more to do with culture. Black people are more likely to shoot another black person. Black people are more likely to shoot a white person. More white people were shot by cops in America last year. Stop playing the victim, look at your own community and should accept the extra help that’s available to them.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

You don’t belong in the Eurovision fandom if you’re talking like that. Get outta here.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

And if you downvote me you can get out of here too. Eurovision has no place for marginalization.

Peter M
Peter M
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Excuse me, but I’m just putting across a point based on information. I am absolutely not discriminating against people. Why wouldn’t I belong in the Eurovision fandom? I thought everyone is accepted. I may have a different view but I find it very disrespectful for you to tell me to “Get outta here,” without actually putting forward your own points. We may disagree but I respect your opinion if you think differently.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

You’re putting across some information, but leaving out crucial context. More white people are killed because there are far more white people in the country. Black people make up 12% of the USA’s population. The actual percentage of their people killed is far higher than white people. Totally unnecessarily and wrongly too. You don’t seem to care about this, betraying your own character.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

Because you’re saying that every problem faced by Black people in or out of America is entirely due to “not understanding culture” and not due to inherent systemic racism. I’m not being disrespectful. That’d imply I was respecting your prejudice in the first place, which I don’t.

Peter M
Peter M
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

No, what I’m saying is, it’s a problem with their culture. Lots of them live in poverty. Some of it is through lack of education, some of it is due to not having enough money, or getting into the wrong crowd. There’s a lot people can do to help them but I disagree that black lives matter is the right way to go about it. I want people to be equal. I want them to have the same opportunities as everyone else, but it’s no good saying “here you go, you’re not here on merit, you’re here because you’re black.”… Read more »

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

Please just educate yourself before you say anything else. Read this and stop talking out of your ass:
https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

Marko
Marko
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

OMG, being poor is not a culture it’s history based on discrimination that goes on and on.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

More white people were killed by police in America, that’s because there are far more white people in America. The percentage of the black population killed is far higher than the white. You really either have no idea of what you speak, or else are deliberately distorting the facts to suit your ridiculous argument. Open your mind and get real.

Peter M
Peter M
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I understand and respect your point but black people are more likely to shoot other black people. Black people are also more likely to shoot white people. Black people are also more likely to be involved in gang violence. There’s a high percentage of black single mothers in America. Single mothers are more likely to live in poverty. You should watch Denzel Washington speak about black culture in America. He gets it.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

Because he’s a Black person who doesn’t intimidate you, right? How much you want to bet you wouldn’t want to listen to those same words if a “less eloquent” person of color was saying them?

Peter M
Peter M
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Well, I actually agree with those points so I would listen to them.

Jonas
Jonas
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter M

Good…you recognize the impact of racism, yet…still don’t recognize racism. How odd.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

You can lead a horse to water, Jonas…

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

And the percentage of black Americans in prison is proportionally higher than for the white population. I would urge everyone who hasn’t done it yet to watch “How to Get Away with Murder”, especially the last two seasons. The narrative revolves about injustice in the justice system in the US. It’s a fantastic series (ended this year unfortunatelly).

Jonathan Vautrey
Jonathan Vautrey
4 months ago

Thank you for this article and for sharing your story, Isanne.

Darren
Darren
4 months ago

Calling it now, the winning song for 2021 will be inspired by the black lives matters movement. Continuing the theme of every second year having a winner based on a social/civil rights issue (if we skip 2020 being cancelled).

2014: LGBT rights
2016: Ukraine/Russia/Crimea
2018: MeToo
2021: BlackLivesMatter?

Looking at Malta, Netherlands, Israel, Czech Republic, here.

Watch this space x

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

And it’ll do exactly what Eurovision is meant to do: be relevant to Europe and the world today. Keeps the contest from being a 65-year-old relic.

Darren
Darren
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Of course
As long as the actual song is good though and not just cashing in on the movement.
After all, “music first” in a song contest, but if the song is good too then it will be well deserved

Dawid
Dawid
4 months ago
Reply to  Joe

Still, its a song contest. When people are voting song they dont like because they liked message, it defeats the purpose. Plus its unfair towards contestants who’re being honest with themself (i’m talking about people bringing up topics just because they’re popular what you can tell from interviews *cough*Netta barely knowing what #metoo is about yet using it in every single interview *cough*). You can’t really say it about someone like Conchita who’s clearly singing about herself.

Dawid
Dawid
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

No climat change songs in 2020 so kinda doubt it.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

Got those out of our system in 2019.

Iván el Conquistador
Iván el Conquistador
4 months ago
Reply to  Darren

Conchita’s victory can be seen as the reason Turkey refuses to return and Hungary left, Jamala’s victory is still seen as an anti Putin gimmick and Netta is considered one of the worst winners of all time.
Getting woke has killed film franchises like Terminator or Star Wars and comic book companies like Marvel are losing fans because of it. Imagine what wokeness can do to ESC, it will be the end of the festival.

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

So they should just be in a bubble of ignorance and never show any reflection of how the world’s progressed since 1956? Turkey and Hungary’s homophobia and Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea aren’t good reasons to argue against “wokeness” at Eurovision.

Ej
Ej
4 months ago

Lovely article. Thank you for sharing your experiences <3

Fabio
Fabio
4 months ago

“Sweden, Denmark, Israel, Malta, San Marino, Czech Republic and the Netherlands…”

Who was supposed to be black in the Danish duo?

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

Ben is half black. 🙂 From Madagascar

Fabio
Fabio
4 months ago
Reply to  Erasmus

Maybe he’s half Malagasy, it doesn’t make him “black”. Actually, he’s not black at all.

Cameron
Cameron
4 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

He’s mixed race. He’s got a black parent and white parent, that makes him black by 50%

Una
Una
4 months ago
Reply to  Cameron

HE IS BEN.

Erasmus
Erasmus
4 months ago
Reply to  Una

That’s how I always put but he was asking about the race so… hahah I always hate when people bring up race… It’s not IMPORTANT especially in a song contest.

Fabio
Fabio
4 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

I really don’t understand all the stupid downvote, lol

Whisker
Whisker
4 months ago
Reply to  Fabio

The downvote because you were wrong, that’s why.

Roelof Meesters
Roelof Meesters
4 months ago

That’s what I was thinking as well- Eurovision 2020 was gonna be THE year that we would have seen black artists shine at the Eurovision stage, especially Malta, Israel and Sweden could have done particularly well. I hope we get even more diversity in artists next year as well.

Sabrina
Sabrina
4 months ago

That’s a beautiful article. Thank you for that, Isanne. And thank you Wiwibloggs for taking a stand.

NickC
NickC
4 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

My thoughts exactly….

David
David
4 months ago

Great and very importent artical .hope you was enjoing in tlv and feel welcome in israel.hope to see you again soon.