Knowles-Lawson will spread the word over the next five months with an Instagram Live series called “Talks with Mama Tina”

By Jackie Fields
July 28, 2020 11:31 AM
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With less than 100 days left before the 2020 presidential election, Tina Knowles-Lawson is using her influence to encourage Black and Brown people to vote. Teaming up with Black hair-care brand African Pride and the And Still I Vote campaign, the star will raise awareness from now to Election Day, November 3, 2020. It’s an initiative Knowles-Lawson says is deeply meaningful to her.

“Since I turned 18, my parents were adamant about voting. They weren't very educated people. They were from Louisiana. And what they said all the time, which is really interesting, [was], ‘You're going to the polls and voting. People died for you to vote.’

To be honest with you, I didn't really understand what that meant, other than: people died for me to vote. [My parents] had seen all of the struggles of African-Americans to be able to vote. I mean, they were dying.

As I got older, I understood more about how important it was.”

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One of the many ways Knowles-Lawson will spread the word over the next five months is with an Instagram Live series called "Talks with Mama Tina." It will be presented by the textured hair-care brand, which “delights” the star.

“I [am] excited about the partnership, because I feel that sometimes companies and corporations that supply products to Black people and Black communities, they do a lot of talking. But when it comes down to really giving back – and not just taking – I feel like African Pride kind of stepped up, and they really wanted to do something. They went out seeking an opportunity to help and support voting, which is so important to me.”

Credit: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

The series will feature key voting statistics from And Still I Vote, along conversations about important dates in voting history know such as the 55th Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and National Voter Registration Day, to empower viewers to vote.

Says Knowles-Lawson, “[This is] concentrated on social issues, on voting. Because I'm just adamant about people getting out and voting, because we have to make changes.” Particularly at the local level, she stresses. “That's what I've been preaching, is that people think about the president, but they don't think about the judges that they elect, the city council people, the mayor who hires the police chief. That that directly affects your environment in your community.”

Her series will also feature “some of the mothers of the movement on there, so that they can connect the dots for people, how important it is to vote [and] how that connects to all the systemic racism and the police brutality, and all the things that are going on.”

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Knowles-Lawson also discussed how she taught her daughters Beyoncé and Solange to embrace their Blackness.

“I'm an art collector. My walls were always filled with every skin tone, every hair texture, a lot of African art. And so, they embraced those things, and they realized that that was really beautiful, and that you could not look any one way, or you have to look a certain way to fit in to the criteria, whether that was natural hair, or embracing your curves.

When Beyonce came along... It was just the best thing to be very thin, and she was not this thin girl. She was a very curvaceous girl. She embraced her curves. She embraced her big butt, and it worked, because she was comfortable with herself. I just celebrated all those things about them, you know? And so, they were really comfortable always with their Blackness, and appreciated it.

Because to me, it's always just been a plus to me. You know? An added bonus. So, I never thought of it as a... It was nothing to embrace. You embrace who you are. You embrace what you're born with."