Gabrielle Union Discusses Her Fears of Raising Black Boys

The actress says that although her sons are being raised as privileged, it doesn’t mean she and her husband don’t discuss with them what it means to be a black boy in today’s society.

Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union Video Screenshot

Gabrielle Union and her husband, Dwyane Wade, are raising three sons together, and although her sons may be privileged, Union says she still has the same fears that many black parents have for their children.

In her cover interview with Essence, Union spoke about the approach she takes to raising three black boys and making sure they aren’t ignorant about what’s going on in the world.

“Even if society didn’t give us hashtags every day to prompt us, I was raised talking about it all the time. So I try to make sure our boys are not as ignorant as I was,” Union said. “We are raising privileged black boys, which creates an interesting situation. Me and D, we weren’t raised with that kind of privilege, so we’re kind of learning through their eyes.”

Even with living the lifestyle many people may only dream of, Union says she still tries to safeguard the kids from situations that may go bad. Union spoke of an incident when she didn’t want the boys walking to a neighbor’s basketball court at night, but they did anyway.

“I said, ‘No,’ because I don’t trust our neighbors to […] see our teenage boys, our tall teenage boys, as children and not as threats to ‘put down,’ like an animal,” she said.

“We told them to stop where they were. If they were under a street light, please just stay there. And as we’re en route to them, there are cop cars coming from [their direction],” she said. “And it wasn’t even the cops that I was necessarily afraid of. Our neighbors have personal security, too, and in a ‘Stand your ground’ state, an open-carry state, they’ll shoot you first and get off later.”

Take a look at the interview below:

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