Matthew Knowles, the formerly estranged father of the race-obsessed Beyonce Knowles and her sister Solange, sat down with Ebony magazine to discuss his new book and his obsession with race.
According to Mercury News, Matthew Knowles admitted to thinking his former wife, and mother of Beyonce and Solange was white when he first met her, and that “colorism” influenced his decision to date her.
In the interview with Ebony to promote his new book, “Racism: From the Eyes of a Child,” Knowles reveals that this preference was deeply ingrained in him as he grew up in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s.
Colorism, as defined by novelist Alice Walker, is the prejudice or preferential treatment of people based solely on their skin color, whereas racism is a prejudice based on qualities in addition to skin color, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Is “colorism” just a fancy word used by blacks who admit to having prejudices against others based on skin color?
Knowles, his daughter’s former manager and now a visiting professor at Texas Southern University, admitted he grew up looking down on dark-skinned black women, even though he is black himself.
“When I was growing up, my mother used to say, ‘Don’t ever bring no nappy-head black girl to my house,’” Knowles told Ebony. “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.” The prejudice led him to date mostly white women or “very high-complexion black women that looked white,” he said.
That’s the reason he started dating the woman who would become his wife of 31 years. “I actually thought when I met Tina, my former wife, that she was white,” Knowles told Ebony.
The couple announced in 2009 that they were breaking up after it was learned that Knowles had fathered a child with actress Alexsandra White, Cosmopolitan reported. Their divorce was finalized in 2011. That same year, Beyoncé announced that she was severing professional ties to her father. The father and daughter reportedly mended fences a year later after Beyonce’s first child, Blue Ivy, was born.
Knowles also pointed out to Ebony how colorism is a controversial topic in the music industry, saying that light-skinned artists like his daughters seem to have an edge over their darker-skinned counterparts.
Someone needs to tell Matthew Knowles how the “dark-skinned” Oprah Winfrey is listed at #5 on Forbes “List of America’s 50 Richest Self-Made Women”, with a net-worth of over $3 billion.