'Motherhood Is Activism': How One Black Mom Is Using Her Platform to Normalize Conversations About Social Justice Issues With Children

Traci Baxley, Ed.D. is a proud mother of five.

In fact, the professor and belonging advocate with 30 years of diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism work under her belt says that her kids are her “why”—from why she wakes up every morning to why she wants to create a better, more just society and world.

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“My children are biracial, but I raised them to know that they’re Black in the world. And I really wanted to start having more dialogue around what it’s like to live in Black skin,” said the author of the forthcoming book, Social Justice Parenting: How to Raise Compassionate, Anti-Racist, Justice-Minded Kids in an Unjust World.

This idea of how Baxley raised her children eventually gave rise to the popular instagram account Social Justice Parenting.

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Though she started the business in late 2019, Baxley says during the pandemic and after the country’s racial uprisings last summer, more people have become aware of the need for engaging in activism and discussing race with their children.

“People really started rallying around some of the information that I was putting out. And I think a lot of particularly white moms say to me, or said to me during that time period, that they were looking for a place that they felt safe to ask questions,” she said. “I never shy away from you asking questions that you may not feel asking somewhere else, or that may seem like you’re uninformed.”

But Baxley still has her critics, including folks who equate “socialism with social justice” and “would pay for me to go to a socialist country.”

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In spite of it all, Baxley uses both the good and the bad as motivation to continue her educating because there is much work to be done.

“I want everybody to understand what’s going on, hear my story and my children’s stories, and for us to raise more kids that are compassionate and open-minded, open-hearted, and socially connected,” she said.

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In the video above Dr. Traci Baxley opens up about her social justice parenting platform, the importance of moving beyond colorblind child rearing, why Black moms also need support, the concept of raising kids in a “village,” and more. Check it out.

Jessica Moulite is an award-winning Video Producer at The Root passionate about dismantling unjust societal power structures and all things Black culture. She's also probably watching “Living Single.”

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