By Ryan Velez
Posted June 1st 2018
MATTHEW AND TINA KNOWLES
Matthew Knowles had an instrumental role early on in his daughter Beyoncé’s career, helping to put together Destiny’s Child. The Daily Mail reports that he is speaking out against colorism in the music industry, going to say that both of his daughters (Solange Knowles included) wouldn’t have the success they did with darker skin.
‘When it comes to Black females, who are the people who get their music played on pop radio? Mariah Carey, Rihanna, the female rapper Nicki Minaj, my kids [Beyoncé and Solange],’ he told Ebony magazine. Part of the reason why Knowles is making a press tour is related to his upcoming book, Racism: From The Eyes of a Child. Professionally separating from his daughter in 2011, Knowles has worked as a college professor. He also told Ebony when he first met Beyoncé’s mother and his ex-wife, Tina, he thought she was white.
‘I actually thought when I met Tina, my former wife, that she was White. Later I found out that she wasn’t, and she was actually very much in-tune with her Blackness.’
He said that his preference for white or light-skinned Black women was embedded in his childhood in Gadsden, a small town near the city of Birmingham, Alabama.
Said Knowles: ‘When I was growing up, my mother used to say, “Don’t ever bring no nappy-head Black girl to my house.” 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. I used to date mainly White women or very high-complexion Black women that looked White… I had been conditioned from childhood.
‘With eroticized rage, there was an 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.’
The colorism issue is something that has been around a long time and people find it difficult to grapple with. In some cases, more prominently featured dark-skin people have been presented in media and ads as a sort of pushback to the perception of these features as unattractive.