Best Life: One mother’s advice for talking to children about race

Best Life: One mother’s advice for talking to children about race

OAKLAND, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- According to statistics, you’re more likely to drop out of school, get pregnant when you’re a teen, have a low paying job, develop breast cancer—even get COVID-19. These are all realities for Black women in America.

At the heart of it—racism. Racism at work, at school and in healthcare. And the truth about what growing up Black means often rests on the parent’s shoulders. One mom took the internet by storm by writing an online article “The 25 Things I Want My Black Daughter to Know” turning it into a message of empowerment for little Black girls everywhere. It has millions of people talking.

The world can be a confusing place. Luckily, 11-year-old, Ayva Riley has her mom, Brandi, to help make sense of it all.

“All of this stuff is very frightening,” said Brandi Riley.

She has had “the talk” with Ayva.

“It scares her to have these conversations, but I have to in order to keep her safe,” said Brandi.

“There’s just people in my school who might be in older grades or something and they just like call me out,” said Ayva.

Brandi continued the conversation with the article “25 Things I Want My Black Daughter to Know.”

Number one—you’re not responsible for an entire race, but some folks may think you are. Remember that when you make decisions. Also, I don’t expect you to be better because you’re Black. I expect you to be better because you are capable. Another few points she makes: there is no such thing as a ‘less Black’ activity. Learn to swim and ski. Being the only Black girl in the room is okay. That way you can stand out.

The message has struck a chord with other moms.

“You want to explain topics like racism, but I’m explaining it to a 6-year-old,” said Felise Moglia.

“She said maybe like people won’t like my color because I’m just Black but that’s okay because I like my color anyways,” said Mila Moglia.

“I wanted to set the foundation for empowering my daughter,” said Brandi. “And in the process, empowering countless of other Black girls.”

One last piece of advice Brandi has: being Black is just one thing about you—it’s not even the most interesting thing. Brandi also says talking with your children about race should not be just one conversation, but a series of them over the years. As uncomfortable as it is, she urges not to avoid sitting down with them. They will draw conclusions, whether or not we guide them. If you want to see the full article, visit Brandi’s blog at www.mamaknowsitall.com.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Jennifer Winter, Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor. Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.