REUTERS

Colorism Contributed to Beyonc's Success, Says Her Father

Mathew Knowles, father of music industry superstars Beyonc and Solange, believes his daughters’ light skin complexions have contributed to their success.


Knowles spoke to Ebony magazine about his new book, “Racism: From the Eyes of a Child,” which offers his thoughts on colorism in the music industry as well as in his personal life, including his “eroticized rage.”

Colorism is a legacy of slavery in the U.S., which lingers within American culture and has resulted in a significance of skin tone within the Black community. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker coined the term colorism in 1982, which she defined as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.”

Lighter-skinned enslaved African Americans were more likely to work as house slaves and were given preferential treatment by white plantation owners and the overseers, while African Americans with darker complexions worked in the fields and were believed to be inferior to those with lighter skin.

Knowles believes colorism is still rampant in the music industry.

Solange and Beyonc

“When it comes to Black females, who are the people who get their music played on pop radio” he said to Ebony. “Mariah Carey, Rihanna, the female rapper Nicki Minaj, my kids [Beyonc and Solange], and what do they all have in common”

The chart-topping artists he mentioned are lighter-skinned Black women.

Growing up in the Deep South, just outside Birmingham, Ala., instilled in Knowles a preference for white or light-skinned women, he said.

“My mother used to say, ‘Don’t ever bring no nappy-head Black girl to my house,'” he said. “In the Deep South in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, the shade of your Blackness was considered important. So I, unfortunately, grew up hearing that message.”

Knowles said during a therapy session, he had a “breakthrough” and realized his preference to date white women or “very high-complexion” Black women was “eroticized rage.”

He explained that “there was actual rage in me as a Black man, and I saw the white female as a way, subconsciously, of getting even or getting back. There are a lot of Black men of my era that are not aware of this thing.”

Tina Knowles with Matthew Knowles

Knowles also said that he thought his former wife, Tina, mother of Beyonc and Solange, was white when he first met her. The couple divorced in 2011 after 31 years of marriage.

“Later I found out that she wasn’t, and she was actually very much in-tune with her Blackness,” he said.

Lori L. Tharps, associate professor of journalism at Temple University and author of “Same Family Different Colors,” said in a column for Time magazine that race still matters in the U.S., but “color matters, too.”

“In the 21st century, as America becomes less white and the multiracial community formed by interracial unions and immigration continues to expand, color will be even more significant than race in both public and private interactions,” she writes.

“Why Because a person’s skin color is an irrefutable visual fact that is impossible to hide, whereas race is a constructed, quasi-scientific classification that is often only visible on a government form.”

Knowles, who currently teaches at Texas Southern University, is the former manager of the R&B trio of Destiny’s Child. Beyonc and Kelly Rowland were original members, with Michelle Williams later joining.

In October 2010, Knowles was still Beyonc’s manager. After Live Nation Entertainment advised Beyonc that her father might be stealing money from her “I Am” tour, she ordered an audit through law firm Reed Smith LLP. In March 2011, Beyonc announced that she was officially severing professional ties with her father.

Knowles claimed that Live Nation made false claims about him to his daughter and filed a lawsuit. In October 2011, the court ruled in favor of Live Nation.

Latest News

Abbott Receives CE Mark for Next-Generation Mitraclip Heart Valve Repair Device to Treat Mitral

Originally posted on Abbott.com – CE Mark for MitraClip G4 offers physicians an innovative next-generation system with more options for mitral valve repair using proven clip-based technology – MitraClip is a first-of-its-kind transcatheter mitral valve therapy, now on its fourth generation, improving further on MitraClip’s history as a safe and…

Cox Crews Mobilized to Reconnect Gulf Coast

Originally published on Cox.com Cox has mobilized its employees with support from outside of the Gulf Coast area to begin assessing damage and restoring service outages caused by Hurricane Sally. In times like this, we understand it is important to stay connected and we want our services to help you…

BASF Invests Into Pyrum as Part of its ChemCyclingTM Project

Originally published on BASF.com  Pyrolysis oil from waste tires as additional raw material source next to oil from mixed plastic waste Investment will support construction of additional production capacities for pyrolysis oil Milestone in establishing a circular economy for post-consumer plastic waste Pyrolysis oil will partly replace fossil feedstock and…

Sanofi and GSK will Provide up to 300 Million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union

Originally published on sanofi.com. Sanofi and GSK will provide up to 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union Agreement signed today supports scale-up of manufacturing capabilities in several European countries Vaccine candidate uses Sanofi’s recombinant protein-based technology combined with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant system Sanofi and GSK finalized…

ICE, whistleblower hysterectomies, COVID

ICE Whistleblower Alleges Unnamed Doctor Performing Hysterectomies, Denying COVID Tests to Detainees

At Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainment centers, undocumented detainees are being subjected to “questionable” hysterectomies and are being denied COVID tests, according to a whistleblower. Dawn Wooten, a nurse who worked at the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, GA recently filed a whistleblower complaint alleging medical neglect. A…

nielsen

Launching Nielsen Compass: A World-Leading and Powerful Campaign Outcomes Database

Originally published on nielsen.com. ADVERTISERS, AGENCIES AND PUBLISHERS TO LEVERAGE INSIGHTS FROM WORLD LEADING, OUTCOME MEASUREMENT DATASET TO MAKE DATA-DRIVEN DECISIONS, OPTIMIZE BUDGETS AND PREDICT SALES ROI Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced that it is launching Nielsen Compass, a powerful, world leading database that leverages the company’s global scale to…