Mathew Knowles has suggested that Beyonce wouldn’t be as successful if she were darker-skinned.
The 66-year-old has written a book on racism and colourism, and how being a black man affected his relationships and his career in the music industry.
And while promoting the book Racism: From the Eyes of a Child, Knowles said there was a reason the most successful black female artists were lighter-skinned.
Speaking to Ebony, Destiny’s Child’s former manager said: ‘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], and what do they all have in common?’
The interviewer replied: ‘They’re all lighter skinned’, with Mathew saying: ‘Do you think that’s an accident?’
After the interviewer said ‘of course not’, Mathew quipped: ‘So you get it.’
The businessman said that he challenges his students while guest-teaching at Texas Southern University to think about how colourism affects people in the music industry.
Beyonce has begun to address racism and her heritage in her music, most prominently in Formation, in which she sings: ‘I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros / I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.’
In the video for Formation, she addresses police brutality against black males, with a wall reading ‘stop shooting us’.
And in 2016, Solange wrote about the racism she and her family have experienced in a powerful open letter.
The Don’t Touch My Hair singer said: ‘It’s the same one that says to your friend, “BOY…. go on over there and hand me my bag” at the airport, assuming he’s a porter.
‘It’s the same one that tells you, “m’am, go into that other line over there” when you are checking in at the airport at the first class counter before you even open up your mouth.
‘It’s the same one that yells and screams at you and your mother in your sleep when you’re on the train from Milan to Basel “give me your passport NOW.” You look around to see if anyone else is being requested this same thing only to see a kind Italian woman actually confront the agents on your behalf and ask why you are being treated this way.
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‘It’s the same tone that the officer has when she tells you your neighborhood is blocked for residents only as you and your friends drive home from a Mardi Gras parade, when you have a residents tag on your car. You’ve been in the car line for 10 minutes and watched them let every one else pass without stopping them at all.
‘It usually does not include “please.” It does not include “will you.” It does not include “would you mind,” for you must not even be worth wasting their mouths forming these respectable words. Although, you usually see them used seconds before or after you.
‘You don’t feel that most of the people in these incidents do not like black people, but simply are a product of their white supremacy and are exercising it on you without caution, care, or thought. Many times the tone just simply says, “I do not feel you belong here.”.’
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