During the broadcast, Keys facilitated conversations with longtime activists and children who are now getting involved in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Keys discussed racist incidents she's faced and said that her white mother was often mistaken for her manager or babysitter when she first started performing.
During a recent Nickelodeon special on racism, singer Alicia Keys facilitated conversations about tough topics and talked about racism she's experienced in her own life.
Keys welcomed seasoned activists to the broadcast, including the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. She also talked to children who are just beginning to get involved in making change in their communities.
At one point in the broadcast, a girl named Josephine, whose parents are of mixed race, shared how people often make comments questioning her mother's role in her life, because her mother has darker skin than hers. A classmate once asked Josephine if her mother was her babysitter, she said.
In response, the 15-time Grammy winner said that when she was first starting out in her career, people often mistook her mother, who's white, for either her manager or her babysitter.
"That's what I got a lot when I first started to perform," Keys said.
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Keys' mother, Terria Joseph, was quick to correct anyone who thought she was employed by her daughter, Keys said.
Numerous times during the special, Keys encouraged the children to continue to hold people "accountable" who say something offensive, or who may sing a racial slur in a song.
Keys said she's been thinking a lot about "speaking up and saying, 'Hey that's not cool, that really makes me feel uncomfortable,'" when someone makes a comment that's offensive. She urged the children to have a conversation with their friends explaining why.
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The host of the broadcast commended her young guests for different types of activism they're engaging in — whether it's attending protests, reading books about racism, or making TikTok videos to raise awareness.
Keys also said she opposes the use of the N-word, and tries to come up with ways to encourage people not to use it.
"I feel very strongly about the N-word," Keys said. "I ask people to replace that word with 'king' or 'brother.'"
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