(Canton, Ohio) – White, black, yellow, brown…we need to talk to our kids about race, now – Moms share their raw thoughts in unedited video.
The events that have transpired over the last week or so following the death of George Floyd and many others before him have knocked me off balance. How did we end up here? How can we fix it?
The truth is, I don’t know. I do know it isn’t a one-size-fits-all fix and it is definitely not one that happens overnight. But, every great revolution has to begin somewhere. I also know that one thing we’ve all been told at least one time or another in our lives has been to ask if we don’t know. And so, that’s what I’m doing.
I reached out to Alexis Pryor. She and her husband Nick live in Stark County and together they have three beautiful biracial children. Twin girls who just turned 7-years-old and a baby boy who just turned 1. The family is originally from Tuscarawas County, which is far less diverse than just north across the county line between the two. While I reached out to Alexis to answer some of my questions, she very admirably noted she is still learning. “I also have no idea what my husband goes through every single day. I hear stories, you know. He tells me things, I’ve witnessed it. But, I’ll never know what it’s like to live a day in his shoes.”
The truth is, our children begin to see race even before their first birthday. So, we as parents have a responsibility to build a foundation that will contribute to how our children respond to race. How our children perceive differences. We cannot wait until our children are in high school to start talking about race. These conversations need to begin early on, and Alexis explained just that. “In school, they noticed that they didn’t look like their classmates. Their skin was a little darker, their hair was a little different.” Alexis explain. She said that in their home, they bring these big conversations down to a level their children can truly understand. “Daddy’s skin is brown, mommy’s skin is cream, and when you mix those you get a light brown. And that’s why you [Charlie], and Lenix, and Neeko, are all that color.”
While we as adults are full of questions, we can only assume our children are as well. So, we need to have those discussions and answer those questions as best we can. And if we don’t know, it’s okay to say that, but consider having a plan to learn more about that topic and we can learn together as a whole family. “There are so many different versions of color out there, and I think it’s so important that kids understand that. And just because someone doesn’t look like you doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated the same way you want to be treated,” Alexis added.
When it comes down to it, that’s just the thing. Everyone is different. There are so many different kinds of people in the world. “My three children are all different colors and they have the same parents,” Alexis pointed out. And for those of us that are white and fully admitting that we will never fully understand what our brothers and sisters of color go through daily, it does not mean we cannot take a stand. A stand for them and a stand for what is right.
There is a quote I’ve seen floating around social media recently that states “Some of you may say you don’t want to bring children into this ugly world. But, what if we raise humans that change the world?” I believe this wholeheartedly. And, I believe that as parents we have a responsibility to establish a strong foundation that is full of love and acceptance in order to contribute to their ability to take on such a daunting task. And it all starts with a conversation.
“As parents, that’s all we can do,” said Alexis. “All we can do is try to open up that dialogue and as kids, they’ll run with it. They will ask questions and that’s okay.” Alexis noted that her way to approach this big conversation is not the only way. “And I want to keep saying that I don’t have all the answers because I don’t. And some people may not agree with the way that we talk about color with our kids and why they are the way they are, and that’s okay. Because you don’t have to do it the way that I do it. And, I don’t have to do it the way that you do it. But, I think it’s so important that we just do it.”
So, we are challenging you. Start having important conversations about race in your home.