It seems every conversation about colourism in pop music must come back to Beyoncé. So it was when Mathew Knowles, record exec, former Destiny’s Child manager and Beyoncé’s father, appeared on SiriusXM radio to discuss research by Texas Southern University, where he is a visiting professor. Their study found that over a 15-year period it was lighter-skinned black women – the likes of Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey and, of course, Beyoncé – who dominated Top 40 airplay. When asked how different Beyoncé’s career would have been had she been darker-skinned, Knowles was unequivocal: “I think it would’ve affected her success.”
Ghost Fleet is a gripping new documentary about modern-day slaves in the Thai fishing industry. The film delves into the sordid labor practices of an industry that supplies the United States, Europe, and Asia with seafood, but it does so by focusing on the compelling work of Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul, an abolitionist who has devoted her life to helping “lost” men return home. She works with a former slave, Tun Lin, who was kidnapped when he was 14 and forced to fish without pay for 11 years. Together, they visit remote islands in Southeast Asia, where captive men have lived for years—never seeing their families until Tungpuchayakul and her team show up and free them.