Some people might argue that integration was the worst thing to happen to Black folks. Mathew Knowles might concur. In his upcoming book, Racism: From the Eyes of a Child, he said that the racism he experienced as a Black child integrating a White school coupled with the effect that racism had (and continues to have on Black people as a whole) affected his choices in women. Knowles heard anti-Black messages even in his own home and told Ebony magazine all about it.
“When I was growing up, my mother used to say, ‘Don’t ever bring no nappy-head Black girl to my house.’ In the deep South in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, the shade of your Blackness was considered important,” Knowles told Ebony. “So I, unfortunately, grew up hearing that message.”
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Knowles explained a concept called eroticized rage which leads Black men to date and marry White women or very fair-skinned Black women. This physical requirement initially attracted him to ex-wife Tina Lawson.
“I actually thought when I met Tina, my former wife, that she was White,” Knowles shared. “Later I found out that she wasn’t, and she was actually very much in-tune with her Blackness.”
Beyonce’s father had a breakthrough while in therapy that helped him to understand where his rage started. He was a product of an era that was racially-charged and he was surrounded by a community of people coping with the psychological fallout from slavery. The attitudes he had formulated about being Black were deep-seeded and Knowles says that he is not alone is his mindset.
Beyoncé daddy spitting that real… pic.twitter.com/08q7NMvYw0
— Rod (@rodimusprime) February 1, 2018
“I had been conditioned from childhood,” Knowles continued. “Within eroticized 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.”
The concept of colorism in the Black community doesn’t surprise folks from the South as it is still practiced to this day. Knowles said that his was one of the last classes entering Fisk University who had to pass a paper bag test, meaning that if your skin tone was darker than the shade of the paper bag, then you were not admitted.
Remnants of this colorstruck culture are present in churches, fraternities and sororities, social clubs, schools, on the job, and even within the Black family when choosing a potential spouse. Like it or not, colorism is real.
"I wish more black men were as honest about their colorism issues as Matthew Knowles" is a sentence I never thought I'd type
— Jamie Sits For The National Anthem. (@thewayoftheid) February 1, 2018