Broadway star Stephanie Mills: 'It's not safe to be black in America!'
Stephanie Mills believes we are living in "scary times" right now.
The 66-year-old actress grew up in New York in the 1970s but "can't even" comprehend the "terrifying" nature of the US today and claimed that amid atrocities such as school shootings, "nothing has changed" in the wake of movements such as Black Lives Matter.
Speaking on the 'Onward' podcast, she told host Rosie O'Donnell: "I grew up in Brooklyn but oh my God it was different times. These times now are so scary. I can't even - it's guns, and it's racism, and it's poverty. It's blatant racism. I'm 66 and respect and human kindness is at an all-time low. Everything is at an all-time low and we have all these movements but nothing really changes. It's not safe to be black in America, it never has been but they tried to camouflage it. "
The 'I Feel Good All Over' singer started her career as a teenager when she was cast in the leading role of Dorothy in 'The Wiz' on Broadway and recalled that she "didn't even want to audition" for the Motown version of 'The Wizard of Oz' but ended up meeting global icons while starring in the multi-Tony Award-winning show.
She added: "I was 17 years old and you know what, I didn't want to audition for 'The Wiz' because I had gone up for so many auditions and I didn't get it. My mother made me go, and I did three auditions and they told me I had the role of Dorothy. I did it for five years. I sang 'Danny Boy' at the audition; I used to listen to all kinds of music back then and learn all kinds of music.
"I loved Barbra Streisand because she was from Brooklyn so I was a fan. I met all of these people like Steve McQueen, Jackie Onassis and Caroline Kennedy. Everybody who was anybody came to the show but I was just a little black girl singing and having fun."