- Gabrielle Union shared her efforts (opens in new tab) to place daughters Kaavia and Zaya (opens in new tab) in diverse schools, stressing the importance of "constantly reaffirming their Blackness outside of them so they can constantly see themselves in the flesh."
- Union said she and husband Dwyane Wade (opens in new tab) are "very purposeful about the schools the kids go to and what their faculty and administration physically look like."
- "As the world keeps changing, there's so much anti-Blackness that keeps rising up," Union added. "You just have to be diligent to fight it with self-love and the elevation of Blackness."
Gabrielle Union spoke about carefully selecting diverse schools for daughters Kaavia and Zaya in a new interview with Elle (opens in new tab), stressing the importance of "constantly reaffirming their Blackness outside of them so they can constantly see themselves in the flesh" while reflecting on the impact of growing up in "largely white spaces" herself.
"It's interesting because I thought my mom actually did a good job of raising her three Black daughters to have representation by way of magazines and books and making sure we were present and connected to the Black community, even though we weren't living in the Black community," Union said. "But as much as she was doing, it paled in comparison to being at school and in sports in largely white spaces."
A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) (opens in new tab)
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"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," she continued. "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. It becomes another job."
"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," Union shared. "I think that was the piece my mom missed because 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."
"But we're trying to bridge that gap and be very purposeful about the schools the kids go to and what their faculty and administration physically look like," she explained. "And then, if there's not enough kids in the school creating outside peer groups, just keep reaffirming."
"Then you have to hope for the best," Union said. "Every kid is different, so it's a bit of a crapshoot. And as the world keeps changing, there's so much anti-Blackness that keeps rising up. You just have to be diligent to fight it with self-love and the elevation of Blackness."
Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
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