New Mom, Who Dis? Season 3, Episode 4
A woman who follows the New Mom, Who Dis? page sent me a direct message and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Her name is Chynika and she wrote, “You have followers of colour. Will you be silent on the murder of George Flloyd or use your voice to speak out?”
After reading her message, I canceled my previously scheduled episode and decided to make this one. The Black Lives Matter movement was just starting to unfold – and Chynika inspired me to use my platform to speak out about it, but most importantly, to listen. And the first person I wanted to listen to, was Chynika.
In our conversation, Chynika, a teacher in Toronto and the only Black teacher in her school, said so many things that stood out. But something that really hit home is that racism isn’t a 24-hour problem. Racism is here. Day-in and day-out it’s HERE. And as white moms, we need to do better, we need to be better, and we need to teach our children better.
On this episode of New Mom, Who Dis? I made it my goal to learn and begin to understand what white women and moms can do every day to shape a more tolerant future.
As a white mom from Canada, I thought it was important to speak to a Black mom in America to better understand how our experiences differ. So, I reached out to Keesha Beckford, the author of a powerful article called Dear White Moms.
After seeing the photos and videos of George Floyd’s death, I experienced sadness and outrage that I never felt before, and I wondered what Keesha felt.
What this mother of two said completely shifted my perspective.
How do you protect your child from their skin? Keesha asked.
Because the answer is you can’t. Black mothers are terrified.
It’s hard to imagine what it must be like to fear for your son’s life every time he leaves the house.
Where do we come in as a white mothers? What can we do?
Child Psychologist, Yamalis Diaz, PhD, says the conversation of race shouldn’t be taboo. It’s something we need to talk about with our young children and the conversation can be expanded as our kids get older. We should be having real and sometimes uncomfortable discussions about how people are treated differently based on the colour of their skin with kids as young as 5.
While this episode isn’t perfect, while I may say the wrong things or ask the wrong questions, this episode was made with the pure desire to learn more and to listen.
I want to continue to do more, to learn more, to listen more. But above all, I want to help empower us to raise kids who will create a brighter future.
Thank-you for watching and sharing this episode. Please tell me in the comments if you have talked about race or discrimination with your kids. It starts with a simple conversation and it ends with a generation that will change the world.
A huge thank-you to my incredibly accomplished guests:
Chynika Wright Grade 5 Teacher, Toronto, Spokeswoman for Black History Month
Keesha Beckford, Adjunct Faculty, Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Youth Division Liaison, The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, Author: “Dear White Mom” – https://bit.ly/DearWhiteMom
Yamalis Diaz, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU Langone Health’s Child Study Center, New York, https://nyulangone.org/doctors/1548685290/yamalis-diaz
Finally, if you, like me, need a little help diversifying your kid’s bookshelf, here is a helpful reading list from EmbraceRace : bit.ly/ChildrensBooksOnRace