×
Tyler Perry explains why he is avoiding having 'the talk' about race with his 7-year-old son

Tyler Perry explains why he is avoiding having 'the talk' about race with his 7-year-old son

The actor-director said he wants his son to be someone who recognizes injustice and speaks out against it.

Tyler Perry is putting off having "the talk" about race with his 7-year-old son Aman and says he wants to hold out for as long as he can. The actor-director is well aware of the harsh realities that any Black person has to live with in America but wants to protect Aman's innocence for now. “I haven’t had the conversation with Aman because he’s only 7, and I want to hold out as long as I can,” Perry told AARP magazine in an interview. “I don’t want to tell him that there are people who will judge him because of the color of his skin, because right now he’s in a school with every race, and all these kids are in their purest form," he said. Tyler Perry shares Aman with model Gelila Bekele.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 08: Tyler Perry attends 'Tyler Perry visits the SiriusXM Hollywood studios in Los Angeles' at SiriusXM Studios on October 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 08: Tyler Perry attends 'Tyler Perry visits the SiriusXM Hollywood studios in Los Angeles' at SiriusXM Studios on October 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

 

African American parents have the "talk" with their kids to prepare them for the discrimination and hate they could potentially encounter in the world out there. Perry says his son doesn't describe his friends by race and he wants it to be that way for as long as it can be. "The moment he loses that innocence is going to be a very, very sad day for me,” said Perry, before adding that he knew he has to have "the talk" with Aman soon, reported TODAY. “I know it’s coming, though, because he’s already asking some really tough questions,” he elaborated. “What I want him to be, more than anything, is somebody who sees injustice, speaks out against it, and effects change.”



 


He also spoke about Aman living his life as a normal person as opposed to being Tyler Perry's son and it's something the director has fought to preserve for his son. “My son’s not famous,” he said. “I want him to have as normal a life as he can. I want him to know what it’s like to have his own name and his own life and not have the pressure of trying to live up to whatever or whoever your father was.”



 


NBC host Craig Melvin and actor Sandra Bullock have also spoken about the need to teach their children about race including the potential discrimination they could face. As we reported, Sandra Bullock said parenting Black children was an eye-opener to her as well because she knows the world isn't a fair place. She spoke about stopping her then 6-year-old son as he tried to walk out of their home wearing a hoodie. “I was like, ‘What does it look like you’re doing with the hoodie?’” said Bullock. “And he says, ‘Well, I look like I’m hiding.’”



 

 

She then asked her son if he had “anything to hide,” and he replied, "no." She told him to take off the hoodie and then decided to let him know that the world wasn't exactly fair and added that he would be treated differently from a white kid. "We’re gonna have a conversation. It’s different for you. I said, ‘People are scared and will react to you differently than if you were a white boy,’” said Bullock, adding that she's always been open and honest about it. “And he knows it. I let them see everything. I let them hear and know everything.”



 


NBC anchor Craig Melvin said he teaches his biracial kids about Black history. Melvin is Black and his wife Lindsay Czarniak is white, a Fox Sports anchor. They are always having conversations with their children about race and the world out there. In an essay for TODAY, Melvin recalled hearing his son say, “Sibby is white like Mommy, and I’m brown like Daddy.” Melvin knew it was time to talk to them about race. “How do you explain to two bright-eyed, multiracial kids who live pretty charmed lives that there was a time in this country where people who look like Daddy would have been shackled and working for people who look like Mommy?” wrote Melvin. The NBC host says he doesn't limit Black history to just MLK Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and also touches on America's dark past.

Recommended for you