Mathew Knowles Talks Skin Color


Matthew Knowles and Tina Knowles, parents of Beyonce arrives at the Armani Prive pre-Oscars fashion show in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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He masterminded his talented daughter’s rise to fame in Destiny’s Child, before helping her get started on a solo career. Now Beyonce’s father Mathew Knowles has spoken out about colorism in the music industry, saying that his superstar daughter and her sister Solange wouldn’t be as famous if they had darker skin. Talking to Ebony, he said the biggest Black female stars all had lighter 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 Beyonce and Solange ,’ he told Ebony magazine.

Since parting ways with Beyonce professionally in 2011, Knowles has reinvented himself as a college professor, and is promoting a new book about race relations, titled Racism: From the Eyes of a Child. In his interview the 66-year-old also addressed his own deep-rooted attitudes to skin color, saying that when he first met Beyonce’s mother, his ex-wife of 31 years, he assumed she was white. 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.’

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