ABC Entertainment News

Gabrielle Union opens up about how she’s teaching her children about racism

Getty_GabrielleUnion_091021
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Gabrielle Union, like many parents, found herself talking to her children about racism following the death of George Floyd

Union is the mother of two-year-old Kaavia James, whom she shares with husband Dwyane Wade.  She co-parents his three children from previous relationships — Zaire, 19, Zaya, 13, and Xavier, 7.  

Speaking to Health, the Bring It On star opened up about having those sometimes difficult conversations with her kids.

“You want to just try to give them hope, to keep those flames of hope from being extinguished. But we were late. And they were not prepared,” Union said. “This is especially true when you have hope, and you buy into the American dream of having a good work ethic and just being a good person. You think if you just follow all these rules, there’s this promised land of milk and honey. But then [your kids are] like, ‘I did that. And it’s vinegar. You told us…’ So, we’ve had to adjust our approach, especially in the last year.”

“With the older kids, we talk about how the world is — I’m not going to say changing, but at least acknowledging certain truths that we’ve known for the last 400 years,” said Union. “People might say different things, but the proof is always in the pudding. You have to watch their actions.”

The actress adds that speaking with Zaya, who is transgender, is more of a challenge because “there’s so many roadblocks for her and her life.”

“All we can say is, ‘We’re not going to leave you on the road by yourself. We’ll be here. But this is what it is. And it’s OK to still be shocked and hurt and surprised when people that you thought you could count on to be better aren’t,'” Union declared.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.