‘Would Beyoncé and Solange be as popular if they had darker skin?’ – Matthew Knowles

PHOTO: Gallo images/ Getty images
PHOTO: Gallo images/ Getty images

Beyonce’s father, Mathew Knowles, has a new book out titled Racism from the Eyes of a Child. According to Ebony, the book discusses race relations from the perspective of a young man growing up in the Deep South of America. Knowles bore witness to many racist incidents in American history.

In light of the text, Knowles brought up the topic of colourism, discussing whether his superstar daughters would still be famous if they were darker skinned. Knowles asked a reporter, “Mariah Carey, Rihanna, the female rapper Nicki Minaj, my kids [Beyoncé and Solange], and what do they all have in common?” before answering his own question, “They’re all lighter skinned.”

Knowles is a professor at Texas Southern University, who is probably best known for managing Destiny’s Child. He says he saw patterns of colourism on joining the music industry and adds that it is no accident that lighter skinned stars are more popular. “I challenge my students at Texas Southern to think about this.”

Knowles also said that colourism went as far as playing a role in his own household growing up. “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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