Mathew Knowles Says Focus Should Be on Racism Not Colorism Comments
Mathew Knowles’ recent Ebony magazine interview drew attention when he said black women on pop radio with lighter complexions—including his own daughters Beyoncé and Solange—enjoy greater success because of colorism in the music industry and society at large. Knowles revisited the comments during a Page Six interview with Carlos Greer and shifted his attention to the racism that informs colorism as opposed to pull quotes about individual musicians.
“I don’t want us to get colorism as the main topic of this book,” Knowles told Greer. “It’s not even a chapter. I talk about it in various chapters, but this book is about racism. It’s not about black people on black people.”
Knowles’ remarks to Greer and the previous Ebony interview were both in support of his book, Racism: From the Eyes of a Child. In the book, Knowles draws on his own experiences with racism during his formative years in Gadsden, Alabama.
This isn’t the first time Knowles has spoken candidly about his experience with race relations in America. Knowles told Greer he never spoke specifically about colorism within the music industry to his daughters Solange and Beyoncé, but he did reflect on his experience at a segregated school on Solange’s album, A Seat at the Table.
“My first day, a state trooper caught me, put me in the backseat of the car, and meeting the other black kids, was six of us,” Mathew Knowles said on the “Dad Was Mad” interlude. “And seeing all of those parents, and also KKK members having signs and throwing cans at us, spitting at us. We lived in the threat of death every day. Every day. So I was just lost in this vacuum between integration and segregation and racism. That was my childhood.”
Beyoncé at the Super Bowl? I prefer the anti-racists of Millwall
My most thrilling moment of 2016 so far — aside from watching a smug-looking woman carrying a copy of the Guardian get the heel of one shoe stuck in the escalator at Canary Wharf station (boy did she howl) — was having a Facebook friend request accepted by Trevor Lee.
Trevor is a hero of mine. He was a very fast and skilful winger for my team, Millwall, and played a crucial role in our 1975/76 promotion season. He went on to play 108 times for the Lions and was adored by supporters. His name is still spoken of with a certain reverence down The Den, much as fanatical Tories will come over all breathless if you mention Sir Keith Joseph. He was also black — Trevor, not Keith, of course — one of the very first black players to make an impact on the British game. That he was not absolutely the first is why few people beyond the world of football have heard of him. He had an afro. We liked that, too, we racist scumbag Millwall supporters. For a certain tranche of pig-ignorant liberal middle-class opinion (personified by the idiotic journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown), Millwall FC is the very expression of knuckle-dragging white working-class racism. And yet it was one of the very first clubs in the country to embrace local black footballers, the first to have a black chairwoman and our supporters invariably elect a black footballer as player of the season: the wonderful Comorian midfielder Najim Abdou — or ‘Jimmy the Muslim’, as he is known to many supporters — has won it twice recently, deservedly.