We wouldn’t dare make the mistake of saying that Beyoncé is just like other parents raising children in the mess that is 2020. But in her interview for the December issue of British Vogue, she does say that things have changed for her as a mother this year, as they have for so many others. She also shared a bit of wisdom for the ways we can all empower our kids to work toward racial justice and equality, the way she has.
“Something cracked open inside of me right after giving birth to my first daughter,” Beyoncé told the magazine when asked why she has strived to lift up the voices of other Black artists. “From that point on, I truly understood my power, and motherhood has been my biggest inspiration. It became my mission to make sure she lived in a world where she feels truly seen and valued.”
She also explained how a trip to South Africa, coupled with having son Sir Carter, made her determined to do more for Black boys too.
“I felt it was important to uplift and praise our boys and to assure that they grow up with enough films, children’s books and music that promote emotional intelligence, self-value and our rich history. That’s why [Black Is King] is dedicated to him.”
The inequalities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, paired with the publicized police killing of Black people in this country, made many of us wonder how to strike a balance between teaching our children the truths of the world and sheltering them when it’s too much to handle. Beyoncé seems to have been thinking about this too.
“I have become a better listener,” she said of her 2020 parenting style. “Blue is very smart, and she is aware that there is a shift, but it is my job as a parent to do my best to keep her world as positive and safe as can be for an 8-year-old. My best advice is to love them harder than ever.”
“Positive and safe” does not, however, mean naive or ignorant to Bey.
“I let my children know that they are never too young to contribute to changing the world,” she said. “I never underestimate their thoughts and feelings, and I check in with them to understand how this is affecting them.”
What Beyoncé is doing is what experts told us is the best way to raise activist kids who feel empowered to change the world: By modeling that behavior herself. She said she’s made this a “year of service,” helping to set up and fund COVID testing sites in underserved areas of Houston, and donating proceeds from two singles to support people affected by the pandemic.
“Blue saw some of the reactions to the ‘Brown Skin Girl’ video, as well as some of the videos from the philanthropic work I’ve done this year,” she told the magazine. “When I tell her I’m proud of her, she tells me that she’s proud of me and that I’m doing a good job. It’s toooo much sweetness. She melts my heart. I believe the best way to teach them is to be the example.”
As she has been doing for so many years, Beyoncé is teaching us by example too.
These other celebrity parents have worked hard to teach their kids about racism.