Swirling by Christelyn Karazin

The art of attraction isn't just about colour or creed, it's about chemistry and a whole bunch of other things. Swirling author Christelyn Karazon discusses.

Matthew Knowles Blames His Mother for His Colorism. Who's Surprised?

Posted by Christelyn, 03 Feb

Photo credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

In an article that initially appeared in Ebony but then mysteriously disappeared that Madame Noire reported Matthew Knowles, patriarch of Beyonce and Solange, started dating his now ex-wife Tina because he thought she was white. He admits to having a lot of rage about being black during the Civil Rights era and sought to date light and white women as a way to get back at “the man” by defiling his woman.

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Matthew’s perception of Tina’s race ignited his “erotic rage.” “I had been conditioned from childhood. 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,” Matthew says and goes into more detail in his upcoming book, Racism: Through the Eyes of a Child.

Of course, it’s always the mean, black mammy’s fault for colorism. “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. So I, unfortunately, grew up hearing that message.”

That last quote implies that most black mothers of that time in American culture were leading the abusive and soul-killing practice of colorism. That’s true in the sense that they acted as the enforcers of colorism, and behaved this way with the expressed approval of the men, who ultimately made the choices about who gets chosen as romantic partners. In other words, if black men were lusting over dark-skinned, kinky-haired black women of the time, Matthew’s mother would be telling him not to bring any light-skinned woman home.

I deeply resent the notion that black mothers led the charge of colorism because as usual, we are blamed for ALL the ills of the black community and excuses and mitigations are made for the men.

But I will say this: I’m glad Mr. Knowles broke with the tradition of complete denial of colorism and admitted what many of us already knew and that for many black men, breaking with black women to pursue and marry white women just when things started to change for the better was just a continuation of the war against whitey by proxy. When you look at the Black Panthers, all the black male celebrities who married white women as soon as they were able, it is clear that there was a major lack of value for the dark skin of the African American woman. They never stood a chance. Black mothers, in their way, operated as the enforcers of colorism to maintain their own survival.

What say you? Are you surprised by Matthew Knowles’ revelation?

Christelyn Karazin is the co-author of Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate, Mixing Race, Culture and Creed. She also operates the popular blog, Beyond Black & White, and operate the first forum dedicated to black women interested and/or involved in interracial relationships.

14 responses to "Matthew Knowles Blames His Mother for His Colorism. Who's Surprised?"

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  1.   blacrush says:
    Posted: 03 Jun

    the problem is africans are ignorant of their genetic make up we have eumelanin black/brown people which protect us from not burning in the sun while europeans have pheomelanin which does not protect them from the sun harmful uv/uvb rays that's why the wear suntan lotions & lay in tanning beds so they can get some eumelanin in their skin so they won't burn in the sun but they're doing two deadly things to themselves 1.depleting their skin cells 2.and weakening their immune systems so i'd rather have eumelanin because it's nature way aka god from protecting black/brown people from the sun and skin cancer .

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    • FBI-4U says:
      Posted: 26 Jul

      It does not matter what colour you are. Too much sun rays is bad for you. You can still get sun burned with black skin as much as having white or any colour skin. Everybody, should protect themself by covering up with light thin clothing. Which keeps you cool and allow your skin to breath.

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  2.   ladybarb says:
    Posted: 04 May

    I totally agree with Mr. Knowles. My grandmother was half native one quarter black and one quarter white. My father was creole. Colorism existed back then and of course it did. It makes sense. The lighter skinned slaves were treated better in a sense, than the darker ones. Beauty was compared by how much more white you looked than Black. The darker skinned blacks had to behave a certain way to appease the whites, where as the lighter skinned ones did not have to do that. Black women were not the only proponents of colorism, black men were too. My grandmother loved dark men but her father was deeply upset that she married my grandfather, who was very dark. My grandfather had a dark first wife (she was black and indian with long black hair), and he made my grandmother promise to keep locks of her long hair so he could look at it... he loved her long hair...) He loved my grandmother's yellow/red complexion and thought she was beautiful. So back then if you were black with long hair or were of light complexion, you were deemed beautiful. It's no ones fault so no one has to accept anything. It's just the way things were then. It's no different than many Black women preferring light skinned men or white men. All of this "blame" needs to stop. My father, being creole, often times would say disparaging things about darker skinned black people... why? Because it was his environment. Some things are just the way that they are because of the times. We need to get over this colorism thing.

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  3.   Ibop says:
    Posted: 17 Mar

    Well I have to agree with Mr. Knowles and I am a black woman saying this. I remember many years ago going to a black reunion function and it was the BLACK WOMEN who were praising my lighter skin cousins for being "pretty"... they didn't say anything to me at all. I was just the ugly lil darkie to them. They were the lightest so of course they stood out. So, I agree with Mr. Knowles, that black women need to accept the roles they place in the colorism non-sense. Also, black single mothers are the reason why many of our communities have the problems they have. That's why our boys get into so much trouble, because more often than not, the father isn't around. Black woman aren't as innocent as they make themselves out to be. They have a woe me like mentality when they need to take some of the blame. When we were allowed welfare and public assistance with the exception that men can't be in the household, this led the BC community demise. I'm sorry, but black women were never held to personal accountability for the poor choices they make in men and life. Those black single moms choose to have babies in low income crime ridden neighborhoods like south side of chicago for example.

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  4.   foxybernie says:
    Posted: 28 Feb

    Hypnotic4U, It is actually sad to read your post. It IS ALWAYS THE WHITE MAN'S FAULT!!!!! When will we start to accept responsibility for our own part in the WHYS and WHY NOTS of the African American race????? I am 57 years old and the narrative has not changed. Yet....Here is the deal....... Black Women have always been in the forefront . We worked outside the home and then came home to take care of the household. Many times we worked while our counterparts played. I was married to 2 Black men.They expected me to take on the role and responsibility of being a man. To be treated so insufficiently by my own color was very hurtful. Black Women are some of the strongest and most COMMITTED people on this Earth. Still, even many lyrics to popular music refer to Black Women in a derrogatory fashion. My sons are Black. I love Black people, but I find I am appreciated as a woman when I entertain the SWIRL. NEVER GOING BACK!!!!!

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  5.   JheriPi says:
    Posted: 16 Feb

    Not surprised at all. I would get "you're a pretty dark skinned girl." My hair is always a topic because not only is it mine I have thick, long hair. No wigs or weaves, ever

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    • Sapiophile_ says:
      Posted: 28 Feb

      I get the same "complim-insult" as well. I've even had some black men call me chocolate bunny...weird. But you beautiful hair.

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  6.   Sassy3226 says:
    Posted: 07 Feb

    I am not, I remember those days. This was taught during the Willie Lynch days, it all started from way back then...

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  7.   Mochalita says:
    Posted: 06 Feb

    Unfortunately a lot of black men do not value themselves. They have internalized self hate therefore they do not value women who look like them. This is a sad effect of racism in American society.

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    • Hypnotic4U says:
      Posted: 11 Feb

      Well I find it strange u say this while I see lots of interracial dating sites where black woman are dating white guys that to me makes me think they either hated there black father's or just have a hatred to themselves an skin color, while commercials are repeatedly promoting white men an black woman together I engage black woman to infact open there eyes to all the abusers in Caucasian skin (men)lately in the white house the weinsteins of lately an dr.nassars etc , do you believe this is a modern epidemic? No ,white men have been the perverts of our existence since slavery an with out presidents an only now have woman been brave enough to tell the world...

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      • blackbelle01 says:
        Posted: 18 Feb

        Hynotic4u-More BW suffer at the hands of BM than any of race of women in the world. BM have raped and murdered bw and you want us to open our eyes to the WM. Well I think we have more to fear from you than we do from them.

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  8.   Pleezu2 says:
    Posted: 03 Feb

    Whoopsey! That's Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry -my bad spelling (from memory)

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    • Robin90211 says:
      Posted: 24 Apr

      Saw Youssouf N’Dour without Neneh Cherry last summer in Los Angeles...he is a must see entertainer. I do believe Mr. N’Dour has biracial children.

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  9.   Pleezu2 says:
    Posted: 03 Feb

    Why should we be surprised, Chris? Having some skin "tone" to bash away at, is supposed to lessen responsibility of the afflicted "basher", not so? Well, it so happens there is a music video of the early 80's - "7 Seconds" by (Senegalese) Yassour Ndour and Nena Cherry, which humbles all things "race", into a beautiful perspective. And another by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder- "Ebony and Ivory" Perhaps you'd even care to post these here? ML, Calvin.

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