[This video from the New York Times entitled A Conversation With My Black Son came out on March 17th, 2015 with this accompanying article. As a school we didn’t succeed in having this conversation with our students. There have been sporadic moments of helping students process the recent flashpoints of Ferguson, New York, etc., and systemic racial injustice. Among the adults in the building there is conflict surrounding whether this is a conversation for parents only or if teachers should be involved.]
For generations, parents of black boys across the United States have rehearsed, dreaded and postponed “The Conversation.” But when their boys become teenagers, parents must choose whether or not to expose their sons to what it means to be a black man here. To keep him safe, they may have to tell the child they love that he risks being targeted by the police, simply because of the color of his skin. How should parents impart this information, while maintaining their child’s pride and sense of self? How does one teach a child to face dangerous racism and ask him to emerge unscathed?
This Op-Doc video is our attempt to explore this quandary, by listening to a variety of parents and the different ways they handle these sensitive discussions. In bringing about more public awareness that these conversations exist, we hope that someday they won’t be necessary.
We intend “A Conversation With My Black Son” to be the first in a series of videos that will foster discussions about the state of race relations in America.