Nat King Cole On His Complexion: White Media Was “Afraid Of The Dark”
The trailer above is for the new Nat King Cole documentary that’s about to hit the market and it’s exposing some very harsh truths about the life of Mr. Cole that many of us probably didn’t know.
For example, I learned that Nat King Cole basically funded the massive Capitol Records building that is still in operation today. According to Nat’s colleague, singer, Tony Bennet, the profits that Capitol Records were making back then were coming mostly from the sales of the tremendous amount of hits Nat was creating for them, thus paying for the new Capitol Records building back then. Another very common topic that plagues not just the African American community, but communities all across America, is the dark skin complex. Nat King Cole was extremely popular with the Caucasian audience…they LOVED the brotha, but unfortunately he was “too dark” for him to be on their TV screens and live in their neighborhoods during that time.
It turns out that Nat and his family were subjected to hardcore racism in their all White neighborhood, but the same neighbors who didn’t want he, his wife, nor little Natalie Cole and her sis’ there, were the same people who had his records in their record collection. Look at the irony in that.
Another thing I learned was that when Nat, who was the FIRST Black person with a TV show, recorded his shows, he was always “made over” to look about 5 shades lighter so that the White viewers were not turned off by seeing their favorite artist’s dark skin in their living rooms on the TV screen. Wow! As Nat once put it: “Madison (Avenue) is afraid of the dark” hence the title of the documentary.
Unfortunately this is a topic that not only affected his career, but it also trickled down to his personal life. Some of you may recall the article we wrote a while back about Natalie Cole publicly revealing how her Mother and some of her Mom’s family members had a dark skin complex and felt that Nat was too dark for her Mom to marry. Check out that article here and let us know your thoughts on this one.