John Legend is known almost as much for his political activism as for his velvety voice, so when he speaks about the Black Lives Matter movement, we listen. And when he reveals how he’s talking to his and Chrissy Teigen’s children, Luna and Miles, about all the racial justice stories in the news right now, we get ready to take notes.
Except, it turns out he actually hasn’t spoken to them about it, exactly.
“Well, I haven’t really gotten to that point yet, because my daughter’s 4, and she doesn’t watch the news with us yet,” Legend revealed to OprahMag.com while promoting his new album, Bigger Love. “So it’ll be a little later in her life I think — not much later, but a little later before we start really getting into some of the nitty gritty of what’s going on in our world.”
His approach is actually quite nuanced and in line with what experts have told us about teaching the concepts of race and racism to young children. You don’t want to bombard them with scary news they won’t understand, but you do want to talk about how people are different from each other, which is what makes them special.
“Right now, we’re just trying to teach her to love who she is, love where she comes from and know that she’s loved and valued,” Legend continued. “And then as she gets older, and as my son gets older, we’ll teach them about the real world and what’s going on in the world. We’ll teach them about what it means to be Black, and what it means to be Asian … and their heritage and what it’s meant in this country.”
So, while Teigen is donating $200,000 to bail funds for Black Lives Matter protesters, and Legend releases uplifting songs about the fight for equality, like “Never Break,” his kids have a little more time focusing on the positive side of their racial and ethnic heritage.
Legend’s positivity still comes through, even when he talks about the harsher lessons he’ll have to teach his kids: “And then hopefully [I’ll] also give them some hope that their generation can be one where we see real change happen, and real justice and real equality happen.”
These inclusive children’s books can help you and your kids celebrate people’s differences.