P.W.B ( Parenting While Black)
“Having The Talk”
There is a quote that says “ Prepare your children for the world they WILL grow up in, Not for the world you want them to grow up in”.
Sunday June 27 was the 2021 B.E.T. Awards hosted by Taraji P. Henson. The best performance that captured me was Andra Day remake of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”. The show highlighted some of the most elite black performers as well as some impactful commercials that brought attention to black issues that are plaguing our society today which is racial profiling . One special commercial showed a bunch of teens going to the liquor store to buy candy , and the reaction of the store manager seeing a group of young black men pay for their goods.
In the second part of commercial displayed a young man coming home to his family. All these reminders of Trayvon Martin, Latasha Harlins and the everyday worries that surround young men and women of color touched on the racial stereotypes other races have toward African American young men and having “The Talk” with our children when they depart from our sight.
“The Talk” is something many black households have when raising a young man or woman of color. The talk is suppose to supply the child with direct instructions to obey if they are confronted in a sensitive situation with law enforcement. Within that conversation the following below is detailed to youth.
- Do not move without asking for permission
2. Speak when spoken to
3. Do not reach for anything rapidly or at all
4.NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS
5. If driving & pulled over — keep your hands on the wheel unless instructed slowly to move
- 6. No arguing, disagreements, joking commentary
This conversation has been a topic that many minority parents have with their children. It is a conversation that is dreaded but required. We live in a society in which we have to push children of color into the reality of a world that will treat them contrastingly on account of the shade of their skin color. It is so challenging for young men of color in various communities because they not struggle with racial profiling but with gang brutality as well.
The Talk is not only surrounding the police profiling but also gang violence that affects our black and brown communities . Black parents not only have the police conversation but the gang conversation. Many times my son's ask to go to the corner store I tell them not in red, not in blue, no wearing a hoodie. As ridiculous as these conversations are to have in the 21st Century we need to carry them on until we are all treated as equal, until gang violence is put to an end as well as police brutality, the goal is that every child has the opportunity to see another day, be held by their family.
The song of Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” in which Andra Day performed at the B.E.T Awards and the commercials in between the show highlighted the circumstances that ail our society which is racial injustice. We as parents still have to be vigil for our children’s safety and well being because the overall goal in the end is for our children is to come home safely.