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Beyonce's father suggests she wouldn't be as successful with darker skin

Former Destiny's Child manager was speaking about his new book which addresses issues of colourism

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 06 February 2018 08:59
Beyonce with her husband Jay-Z
Beyonce with her husband Jay-Z

Beyonce's father Matthew Knowles has spoken about race in the music industry and suggested his famous daughter may not have enjoyed the same success she has now, if she had darker skin.

The former Destiny's Child manager gave an interview with Ebony to discuss his book Racism: From the Eyes of a Child where he admitted that when he was younger, deeply ingrained colourism led him to only date white or light-skinned black women who appeared to be white.

"I had been conditioned from childhood," he said. "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."

He said he was sharing his personal experiences in the hope it would raise awareness of colourism, which he implied is common in the music industry.

"When it comes to black females, who are the people who get their music played on pop radio?" he asked. "Mariah Carey, Rihanna, the female rapper Nicki Minaj, my kids [Beyonce and Solange], and what do they all have in common?"

The Washington Post pointed out how the issue of colourism in music was raised previously in the VH1reality show Love & Hip Hop Miami which aired in January,

In the first episode, an Afro-Latina singer wants to break into the American music market, and enlists the help of a producer who is hesitant to work with her because "she needs to look a certain way... a little bit more Beyonce, a little less Macy Gray."

While the show received a backlash over the slurs against the singer on the show, its creator Mona Scott-Young defended the decision by pointing out: "If you aren't talking about something how can you be fostering understanding?"

J Cole, one of the most successful rappers in the world, also told BET in 2013 that he didn't think he would have the same career if he had darker skin, and did not think Barack Obama would have won the presidency if he had darker skin.

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Beyonce with her father and former manager Matthew Knowles and Tina Knowles at the 'Beyonce: Beyond the Red Carpet auction in June 2005. They have since divorced.

Beyonce's relationship with her father has been relatively tense in the past, but since they stopped working together the Lemonade artist has maintained that they share an affectionate relationship.

Knowles is seen playing with his grandchild Blue Ivy in her documentary Life Is But A Dream. She often references him in her music, particularly in her latest album where she shed more light on their complex relationship.

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