Love & Hip Hip: Miami star Amara La Negra has sparked an interesting conversation about colorism and Afrolatinidad in the music industry.
While the internet continues to debate the rising star’s views on the subjects, Mathew Knowles is joining the discussion to let everyone know that colorism is real and has significantly impacted the careers of our favorite artists.
In a new interview with Ebony, the Hollywood dad spoke about how colorism works in favor of stars like Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. Knowles began by attributing his views to growing up in the “Deep South.” “When I was growing up, my mother used to say, ‘Don’t ever bring no nappy-head Black girl to my house,’” he recalled.
“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.”
According to Knowles, he is only one of many people within the African-American community that is conditioned to see complexion and play favorites. He suggested that’s why many of our favorite female artists look the same, in terms of their skin. “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 [Beyonce and Solange], and what do they all have in common?” He questioned, pointing to their lighter complexions.
It’s unclear whether Knowles actually believes that, although it’d be hard to imagine since he’s witnessed Beyonce and Solange’s rise to stardom from infancy. Even so, his comments echoe Amara La Negra’s struggles within the industry.
(Photos from left: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Johnny Nunez/WireImage, Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)