If Beale Street Could Talk star Regina King explained on Wednesday night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! that she has been having ongoing conversations with her 24-year-old son Ian about police brutality — and that they started long before George Floyd was murdered by police officers last week.
“I think in most of Black homes, it’s not just a conversation,” King told Kimmel. “It’s an ongoing conversation…it never stops.” The Oscar winner also acknowledged how painful and infuriating it is — for her and her son — to see history repeat itself again and again through the ongoing senseless violence towards Black Americans.
“You get to a place especially when, your children are at an age where they are looked at as adults, and the anger that they have — it just compounds every time something like this happens, and another moment that’s telling them that they’re not worthy, they’re not valuable, their lives aren’t valuable once they walk outside the comfort of their homes,” she told Kimmel. King is determined, however, to find ways to be an emotional support for her son through his anger, and to make sure he feels heard. And with her son, as with any kids, those interactions from parents need to happen carefully — in a way that doesn’t push the kids away.
“Because you have to find a way to support their feelings and make sure that you’re letting them know that you hear them and that you do mirror the same sentiment, but you don’t want them to do anything that’s going to put themselves in a situation that they may not come back home, they may not talk to you again,” King continued.
It does seem like King’s son has been receptive to his mom’s input over the years. King also told Kimmel that when Obama was running for president, her son watched her campaigning for him and taking action: “Your kids are seeing what you do, so the passion that I was having behind there, I think that’s what was making his comprehension with the conversations deeper,” she told Kimmel. But the importance of discourse really hit home for her son, she admits, when he was learning to drive.
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The best thing to ever happen to me happened on this date. And just like that you make your 23rd trip around the sun! There is not a person that crosses your path who would disagree with the fact that your presence makes their life brighter. What a gift to be your Mom. Thank you for whispering in God's ear and saying, "I choose her to be my Mama" I can barely finish this post because tears of joy keep streaming down my face. My heart is exploding with love for you my young KING! Continue to dream boundlessly and hustle tirelessly. Happy Worthday to my greatest love of all @buttercreemmjv #myCo #23 This is back when you were light-skinned-ed 🤣🤣🤣
“That’s when the conversation shifts again,” King explained. “Because you kind of have to make them very clear about what they’re supposed to do when they’re out there in that car by themselves and more than likely are gonna get pulled over just because you’re a young Black man.”
When Kimmel responded, he acknowledged that this conversation about the police and race is a “rite of passage” between Black parents and their children — a rite of passage no white person has to undergo, and which needs to become a thing of the past for kids of all races as we as a society work to ensure their safety and protect their lives.
If you’re looking for ways to educate your kids about race, these TV shows and movies might do the trick.