I hope you’ve had a chance to see the Procter & Gamble video called “The Talk.” It reminds us that African-Americans have to have discussions that some families don’t necessarily need to have – like talks about being judged by their skin color by white people and sadly, by Black people, too.
In fact, colorism, as most of us know, is a real thing, sometimes even within families. Another discussion we have is regarding hair issues (like why doesn’t Keisha want to be on the swim team?) and does having natural hair make you more “woke” than people with permed hair.
Then there’s just plain ol’ racism. We have to warn our children about how to behave if, or I should say when, they’re stopped by police. How do we teach them to be respectful but also to demand respect from police and other authority figures?
If our children are athletes, what do we tell them about the Colin Kaepernick situation? If they choose to kneel during the National Anthem will we be proud or will we worry that it will impact their playing time and mess up their chances to compete on the next level?
There are no easy answers to any of these questions but, having “The Talk” with our kids and grandkids before they’re faced with dilemmas like these at least prepares them for the inevitable.
I’m a Fly Pop now, and thankfully, my role with my 5 grandchildren is simply to be…”Fly.”
But what did I say to my sons, you ask? Well…. when my boys, formerly known as Killer and Thriller were young, I was Fly Jocking – doing morning radio in Dallas and afternoon radio in Chicago for eight years. That meant there was a lot of in-between time when I frankly wasn’t there.
So, it was left up to my wife, Dora, their mom, to have a lot of those talks that fathers or both parents typically have with their children. She did a great job and I applaud her. They turned out to be good men, good husbands and good fathers.
But it got me thinking, what kind of talk would I have had? Then it came to me. I would have talked with them using the form of communication that got me where I am today.
So my message to them is in the following hits:
“Loves In Need of Love Today”
“Mercy Mercy Me”
“What’s Going On”
“Fight the Power”
“Dance, Music, Sex, Romance”
“Fear of a Black Planet”
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Why Having ‘The Talk’ Is So Important was originally published on blackamericaweb.com