Beyonce’s dad is opening up about an insidious kind of racism.
In a new interview with Ebony, Matthew Knowles talks about his own experience with colourism, which generally finds black people with light skin being favoured over those with darker skin.
The 66-year-old record talent manager admits that colourism affected his view of the world from a young age, even saying that when he first met his ex-wife Tina Knowles he thought she was white.
“When I was growing up, my mother used to say, ‘Don’t ever bring no nappy-head black girl to my house,'” he adds. “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 talk about going to therapy and sharing–one day I had a breakthrough–that I used to date mainly white women or very high-complexion black women that looked white,” Knowles continues. “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.”
Knowles also referred to how colourism affects the music industry, even referencing his own daughters Beyonce and Solange.
“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?” he asks.
When the interviewer suggested, “They’re all lighter skinned,” Knowles agrees. “Do you think that’s an accident?” he says.