COVID-19 has put many things on hold but, thankfully, it hasn’t stopped a second season of Mixed-ish. The Black-ish spinoff returned to ABC on January 26, and out the gate, the family comedy touched on the heavy topic of passing with Alicia and Paul trying to figure out how to instill Black pride in son Johan after they find out he’s been pretending to be a different race.
Seeing how things play out on the show got lead actress Tika Sumpter thinking about the conversations she needs to have with her own daughter, Ella-Loren. “It’s so weird because I have a 4-year-old so I’m constantly going back and forth like, how much do I read to her? Do I push this on her now? The other day we read the anti-racist baby,” she tells ESSENCE, pointing out it’s hard to tell just how much kids can grasp about differences at that age.
One thing Sumpter does know is it’s important to reinforce her daughter’s beauty as a toddler. “Even as young as four, implementing things like, ‘your hair is beautiful, your face’ — just infusing so much goodness into them. I don’t feel like it’s ever enough.”
Sumpter shares Ella-Loren with fiance and fellow The Haves and the Have Nots co-star, Nicholas James. The pair got engaged in 2017 and the actress says a wedding celebration may be in the works in the somewhat near future.
“I’m ready now. Literally, once this pandemic is over I want to have a party. I’m like, yo, we all deserve a party. You know what I mean? Like, we deserve a party. I’m more about just, family’s getting older, some family members passed away from COVID complications, so more than ever now it’s about just getting family and friends — that to me is life.”
Check out our full interview with Tika Sumpter in the video above as she talks more about Mixed-ish and Cicely Tyson’s legacy as a Black actress.