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Jae Alan



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ACCEPTING INTERVIEWS: Music Mogul, Mathew Knowles’ New Book Stirs Topics of Racism/Colorism & Growing Up in America

Jae Alan



Music mogul, Mathew Knowles will be in Washington, DC next Thursday, March 29th and is accepting interviews.  He has sparked an international conversation with his latest book Racism from the Eyes of a Child.  His transparency and vulnerability can be seen throughout the book and serves as a great read.

For interviews, please contact:

Lisa Gee |

Mathew Knowles Sparks an International Conversation
with his latest book Racism from the Eyes of a Child.
With uncanny timing for socially charged topics, music mogul Mathew Knowles hits hard right out of the gate with his latest book Racism from the Eyes of a Child (Amazon/Ingram), released just in time for Black History Month. RFEC is a deeply personal reflection on racism in the south, where the Gadsden, Al native was raised, and America at-large. The semi-biographical journey is seen through his and close relative’s accounts of a childhood lived through the country’s most separate past.

From the 1950’s-70’s, Knowles experienced one of many firsts-from integrating all-white schools in the south, up through his experiences in the corporate, and later music world. There he helped cement music history by introducing his bloodline and managed talent to the world with Beyoncé (Destiny’s Child) and Solange Knowles. His experiences as a child with police cattle prods and other such heinous practices used on protestors, all shaped his hyper-awareness of racism-even found in households like his own, in the form of colorism. Such controversial subjects are not new; however, they have been stirring up international dialogue recently. Knowles shot to the center of the subject by asking us to consider if the music industry’s own colorism issues might still be in play.

In revisiting his personal experiences with racism in America, his book challenges readers to do the same. He encourages readers to comb their own family histories for heroes who fought discrimination through the years. He points to the attitudes of slave owners who first programmed colorism into the black community due to their own preferences. Racism from the Eyes of a Child discusses the deeper causes of what appears to be a growing permanence to racism, and questions how everyone is going to cope if that is the case. A riveting read, and one that makes you peel back your own ideas about race, RFEC offers a disarming but candid conversation.

By showing his own cards openly, Knowles constantly encourages honest and sometimes raw dialogue in hopes of leading to genuine solutions for this generation’s children. By adding photos and the childhood accounts of friends and family members, he offers up a rich All-American Saga.

  “I was seeing this therapist when the racial dynamic surfaced again, and that shifted me into the direction that led to my ultimate progress. As a part of my therapy, a series of men groups of all ages, sizes, and colors were available to join. In my groups, there were always men my age that were affluent. Any number of highly-ranked executives for major companies or who owned their success. We faced similar challenges that way, and while our traumas might have been different, the results in most cases were the same. Like for some of us, our behavior had begun to overflow into our marriages-certainly, that happened to me.
   “That therapist made a prophetic statement a couple of times when she mentioned both the downside and the upside of my reaction to the traumas. “The bad side,” she said, “is that you overdo things. You sometimes drink too much, you sometimes party too much, your taste for women is too much. But the good thing that came out of this is that you would have never been as successful were you not.” She truly believed that and I do too because I would’ve never have been as driven. There is a personal, professional, and spiritual part of me and I think my past struggles enhanced my professional performance in that way. On the flip side, my choices and my excesses then became clearer as I recalled how my mother had always conditioned me as a child. “Don’t ever bring no nappy headed girl up in my house.” End quote.
   “Do you know that command, plus the obvious fact that I couldn’t have a white girlfriend according to her and the law of the land both, made me want one more? It became something that had a clinical name to it-Eroticized Rage. Such unconscious conditioning affects any number of men who go after race as the primary basis for their romantic choices. For them. in frustration of what they are socially denied, it is an act of vengeance getting what is considered taboo. I can look at my teenage years and those stolen moments atop Lookout Mountain (with white girls from school) as prime examples. It reminded me of an earlier experience.
Gordon Parks, photographer. Dr. Kenneth Clark conducting the “Doll Test” with a young male child, 1947.
   “…It was still a risky time in the south, and I continued finding a line to step over, even if I wasn’t aware of it…. I think back to when I met my first wife; I thought she was white, although she never claimed to be. I’m just talking appearances and first impressions, I quickly saw her beauty and blackness, inside and out. According to my sister, even after my mother met my future in-laws she stayed convinced all of them were white. I’m sure she didn’t mean for me to bring one home, but considering my choice in women’s complexions based on that colorism she passed on, I almost did. There was this idea in America that if you have even a small percentage of African blood, you are black. One drop. It didn’t matter if you were mixed so far down you could pass if you wanted to, there was still that fact-and even those fairer skinned black people got racism shoved at them. I got to see it once driving from Houston through Chattanooga with my then-wife when we stopped to gas up, and she asked this white man for the restroom. He snapped at her rudely, “We don’t have one!” That response showed me, we were all in the same pot, even if it was melting with a variety of shades.
   “I now look at my beautiful wife, Gena, with pride for her intelligence and grace, as well as with admiration of her lovely brown skin. I realize I first began liberating from my mother’s coloristic conditioning during those therapy sessions. What has come out since, in my research, is how systemized such thinking was in our culture-and still is in some places. The harshest form of racism was making us hate ourselves and internalize the slave owner’s dislike of our looks and skin tones. This ideology was planted along with any number of other seeds that grew up in our community through generations. Hate your own kind for me when I’m not around, that’s what that taught us. My mother was a victim like many others who got the same conditioning. It was meant to disregard the one thing you’re born with-the one thing hardest to get rid of—your race.”
Racism from the Eyes of a Child.
For more visit
What’s all the talk?

RFEC is a personal reflection on racism in America through a childhood lived through the country’s most separate past. Growing up during the burgeoning civil rights movement, music mogul Mathew Knowles experienced one of many firsts from integrating all-white schools in the south, up through the corporate, and later music, world. Knowles examines the backdrop of discrimination by tracing his family’s roots from post-slavery up through the civil rights era, on into the present racial climate. Purchase your copy here.


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Cosby Retrial Set to Begin

Jae Alan



NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania — Bill Cosby’s criminal retrial on sexual assault charges set to begin with jury selection on March 29 after Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Judge Steven O’Neill rejected the comedian’s request to have the charges against him dismissed.

Cosby’s attorneys, led by former Michael Jackson lawyer Tom Mesereau, argued for dismissal on the grounds that prosecutors disregarded clear and convincing evidence that accuser Andrea Constand lied when she claimed she didn’t know Marguerite Jackson, a fellow Temple University employee, who used to share hotel rooms with Constand.

Jackson told Cosby’s attorneys under oath in January that Constand confided that she could “set Bill Cosby up” and “extort him” by making false allegations.

Read more @ The Washington Informer

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History & Culture

Jo Ann Robinson: A heroine of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Jae Alan



March is Women’s History Month. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is celebrating the lives of remarkable African American women, both the well-known and those whose stories have been largely forgotten—including Jo Ann Robinson, an unsung civil rights heroine who played a key role in the historic 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Born on April 17, 1912, in Culloden, Georgia, Robinson distinguished herself early as the valedictorian of her high school class, went on to become the first person in her family to graduate from college, and then fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher.

She taught in the Macon, Georgia, public schools for five years while earning a master’s degree from Atlanta University. She also pursued English studies at Columbia University in New York City. She moved to Montgomery in 1949 to teach at Alabama State College.

In Montgomery, she became active in the Women’s Political Council (WPC), a local civic organization for African American professional women that was dedicated to fostering women’s involvement in civic affairs, increasing voter registration in the city’s black community, and aiding women who were victims of rape or assault.

Dress sewn by Rosa Parks

Dress sewn by Rosa Parks. Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Gift of the Black Fashion Museum founded by Lois K. Alexander-Lane.

Soon after arriving in Montgomery, Robinson was verbally attacked by a public bus driver for sitting in the “whites only” section of the bus. When she became the WPC’s president the following year, she made desegregating the city’s buses one of the organization’s top priorities.

The WPC repeatedly complained to Montgomery city leaders about unfair seating practices and abusive driver conduct. But the group’s concerns were dismissed, leading Robinson to begin laying plans for a bus boycott by the city’s African American community. Following Rosa Parks’ arrest in December 1955 for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person, Robinson and a few associates jumped into action. They copied tens of thousands of leaflets and distributed them across the city, calling for a one-day boycott.

Following the overwhelming success of the one-day boycott, Montgomery’s black citizens decided to continue the campaign, establishing the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to organize the effort and electing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the MIA’s president.

Robinson chose not to accept an official MIA position for fear of jeopardizing her job at Alabama State, but she worked behind the scenes as a member of the MIA’s executive board, wrote and edited the MIA weekly newsletter, and volunteered in the carpool system that helped African Americans get to and from work. In his memoir of the boycott, Stride Toward Freedom, Dr. King said of Robinson,“Apparently indefatigable, she, perhaps more than any other person, was active on every level of the protest.”

Despite Robinson’s efforts to stay out of the limelight, she was among a group of boycott leaders arrested but never tried. She was also targeted with several acts of intimidation. One local police officer threw a stone through her window, and another poured acid on her car. Eventually, Alabama’s governor ordered the state police to guard the homes of Robinson and other boycott leaders.

The boycott continued until December 20, 1956, when the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated seating on buses unconstitutional.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott was one of the first successful protests of segregation in the Deep South, inspiring other nonviolent civil rights protests. It also established Dr. King as a prominent national figure. Robinson was especially proud of the role that women played in the boycott’s success, saying:

“Women’s leadership was no less important to the development of the Montgomery Bus Boycott than was the male and minister-dominated leadership.”

—Jo Ann Robinson

In a 1976 interview, Robinson pointed out, “That boycott was not supported by a few people; it was supported by 52,000 people.”


Walking by Charles Henry Alston. Walking recalls the bus boycotts in the 1950s and anticipated the civil rights marches of the 1960s. The work not only depicts the spirit and conviction of the civil rights protests, it also references the significant role of women and youth in the movement. National Museum of African American History and Culture. Gift of Sydney Smith Gordon, © Charles Alston Estate.

After the boycott victory, Robinson continued to teach at Alabama State until 1960, when she and other faculty supporters of student sit-ins at the college resigned. She went on to teach at Grambling College in Louisiana, then moved to Los Angeles, where she taught in the public school system until her retirement in 1976.

Her memoir, The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It, was published in 1987. In it, she expressed her great pride in the boycott’s success. She remained actively involved in her community and in local politics until her death in Los Angeles on August 29, 1992.

With the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, courageous African American women like Jo Ann Robinson are finally receiving the recognition they so richly deserve. As a supporter, I hope you take pride in helping bring the forgotten stories of unheralded African American heroes into the spotlight, elevating the African American experience to its rightful place at the center of our nation’s history!

All the best,
DD YE year end 1 signature
Lonnie G. Bunch III
Founding Director

P.S. Our nation has been shaped by many brave African American women visionaries and leaders—including those whose stories have not been told until now. Their stories remind us that history never stands still, but keeps marching forward. Thank you for your support. I hope you will consider joining as a Member or making a donation today.


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