Beyoncé’s father thinks that being a “lighter skinned black woman” helped her career

How did Beyoncé become one of the biggest superstars in the world? By having “lighter skin”, according to her father and former manager, Matthew Knowles.

Matthew Knowles – who used to manage Destiny’s Child and daughter Solange Knowles – believes that racism is still rife in the music industry, and thinks that his daughter being “a lighter skinned black woman” helped boost her career.

“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 Beyoncé and Solange, and what do they all have in common?,” he asked a reporter at Ebony magazine.

“They’re all lighter skinned,” the reporter dutifully replied.

“Do you think that’s an accident?” Knowles continued.

“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.”

“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.”

He then went on to tell the reporter that he actually thought Beyoncé’s mother was white when he first met her…

“I actually thought when I met Tina, my former wife, that she was white,” he said.

“Later I found out that she wasn’t, and she was actually very much in-tune with her blackness.

“I had been conditioned from childhood. With eroticised rage, there was actual rage in me as a black man, and I saw the white female as a way, subconsciously, of getting even or getting back. There are a lot of black men of my era that are not aware of this thing.”

Matthew Knowles was promoting his new book Racism: From the Eyes of a Child, which talks about his perspective on race while growing up in the Deep South. He also discusses some of the worst acts of racism in recent US history.

Do you think he is onto something about the success of Beyoncé, Rihanna and Mariah Carey, or could it just be a coincidence?

  • Mike E

    He is an idiot. The US music business is dominated by super-rich black musicians.