The best for her brood! Gabrielle Union works hard to make sure that her kids are “reaffirmed” outside of their home.
“What I’m trying to do with our two daughters is understand that if I cannot provide a school environment that is as diverse as the global population, I have to do more to constantly make sure the girls are reaffirmed,” the actress, 48, wrote in an Elle essay. “It’s not just enough to hand them a magazine or a book or watching Black Is King on a loop. We have to surround them with additional teachers they may not see at school.”
The L.A.’s Finest star, who is the mother of Kaavia, 2, and stepmother of Zaire, 19, Zaya, 13, and Xavier, 7, called that process “another job,” explaining, “Part of that is constantly reaffirming their Blackness outside of them so they can constantly see themselves in the flesh, mirroring what we’re teaching at home. … [I’m] very purposeful about the schools the kids go to and what their faculty and administration physically look like.”
When it comes to “peer groups” outside of class, the Nebraska native just “hope[s] for the best.” She wrote, “Every kid is different, so it’s a bit of a crapshoot.”
The Welcome to the Party author wrote that her mom, Theresa Union, “missed that piece,” saying, “We just didn’t live close enough to the Black communities or have more of my parents’ friends or any other kids’ friends who looked like us. It created a gap that we all fell in.”
Union added that her mom’s efforts at home to build up her three Black daughters “paled in comparison” to the influences at their school. “I wore relaxers starting from the time I was eight and didn’t stop until my 30s,” she wrote. “Something happened around my 40s where I just fell in love with myself. I emptied my basket of f–ks. And that’s the attitude I hope to pass onto my daughters — shameless self-love.”
With “so much anti-blackness … rising up,” Union is “diligent” about elevating Blackness and self-love in her and Dwyane Wade’s home — but wants more for Kaavia and Zaya.
“Whatever affirming words or images that you would get from home, you’re at school more than you’re anywhere else, and you’re not being reaffirmed there,” the We’re Going to Need More Wine author explained. “It opens the door for so much self-loathing and putting yourself up to the impossible task of trying to shapeshift into something you will literally never be.”