Numerous artists have been launched into chart-topping, award-winning careers by Mathew Knowles, including both his daughters, Beyoncé and Solange. On Thursday, Sept. 27, Knowles will discuss his first two books, “The DNA of Achievers” and “Racism From the Eyes of a Child,” in a panel at 4:30 p.m. in the Africana Studies and Research Center. A reception will follow. The event is free, and the public is invited.
In addition to Knowles, the panel will include Marla Frederick, professor of African and African-American studies and the study of religion at Harvard University, whose specialties include the study of religion and media, and the sustainability of black institutions in a “post-racial” world. Riché Richardson, Cornell associate professor of African-American literature, will also participate.
“As someone who cultivates artists who are universally admired by diverse audiences and who is deeply committed to humanitarian causes and social justice issues, Knowles has much to offer the Cornell community,” said Gerard Aching, professor of Africana and Romance studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, who will moderate the panel. “He is an extraordinary, world-class businessman, writer, educator and innovator, and I look forward to our community benefiting from his cutting edge-thought and expertise.”
Currently a professor at Texas Southern University, Knowles is founder, president and CEO of Music World Entertainment, a leading music and entertainment conglomerate with record sales exceeding $450 million worldwide. Regularly featured in popular media, he is renowned for his innovations as a top manager and entrepreneur in the music industry.
The panel is related to a course Richardson taught for the first time last fall, Beyoncé Nation, which drew nearly 70 students from across the university. The course was inspired by research Richardson did for a chapter in her forthcoming book, working title “Emancipation’s Daughter’s: Re-Imagining Black Femininity and the National Body Beyond Aunt Jemima.” Richardson is a leading figure in the growing interdisciplinary field of Beyoncé studies, Aching noted.
The event is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost; the Departments of Communication, English, Music, and Performing and Media Arts; the American Studies Program; the College of Engineering; Cornell University Library’s Hip Hop Collection; the Africana Studies and Research Center; and the Society for the Humanities.
Linda B. Glaser is a staff writer for the College of Arts and Sciences.