Tina Knowles-Lawson wants to change the stereotypes of Black men that are portrayed in the media, which is why she's sharing a personal story involving her daughter Beyoncé and son-in-law JAY-Z. In an interview with CBS Mornings to promote her upcoming project, Profiled: The Black Man, the mother discussed an incident where a white woman questioned how she could let her daughter marry The Blueprint rapper.
Tina Knowles-Lawson, executive producer of the new docuseries, “Profiled: The Black Man,” talks about the damaging stereotype that Black men are “dangerous” — and her hope to reshape society’s views. pic.twitter.com/s0c6P7VhzA
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) February 10, 2022
"I can remember getting on a plane, and an older white woman saying, 'Oh, your son is a gangster rapper, right? How did you let him marry your daughter?'" Knowles-Lawson said in a preview clip, referring to her son-in-law.
Beyoncé and JAY-Z tied the knot in April 2008, and have since welcomed three children together: 10-year-old Blue Ivy, and 4-year-old twins Rumi and Sir.
"It was just shocking to me and I said, 'No, actually, my son is a CEO,'" Tina said. "She didn't think of him as a CEO, or even a talented celebrity that was a great businessman. At that time, I remember thinking, 'I can't be mad at her, because that is what the media portrays.'"
Knowles-Lawson appeared via video call for the interview, where she reflected on the moment and how it became part of the inspiration for the new four-part docuseries, premiering on Discovery+ and OWN Network. The 68-year-old heads the film as an executive producer on the project, and Tristan "Mack" Wilds hosts the show.
"I sat there and I thought about how the media portrays Black men and how that is typical of the things that they would focus on, the negatives," Knowles-Lawson said. "[They] try to portray us as these dangerous, our men as dangerous, uneducated. Gangster rapper, that's all she could come up with, but that's what she had been seeing on TV and all in the media. That's how we're portrayed, unfortunately."
The point of the docuseries, she says, is to "debunk those stereotypes that our men are dangerous."
"How many times has a Black man walked into an elevator and someone clutches their purse? Or they walk by a car and the doors get locked?" she said. "They could be a judge, they have no idea, but because it's a Black man, especially if they're of some stature, [they think] that they're dangerous."
"If we can kind of get people to understand that that's not so, and show them examples of otherwise — that we do have good fathers, we are good providers, our men love their own women as well — [that's the goal]," she added. "It's just all the negative stereotypes. It's perpetuated over and over no matter what. It's just what everybody thinks."