Parenting is never easy, and with racism in America currently at the forefront of the mainstream conversation, parents must navigate how to speak to their children about it and how to be the change they want to see in the world.
During the 2020 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, a virtual event hosted by ESSENCE over two consecutive weekends, celebrity power couple Stephen and Ayesha Curry opened up about how they feel they can make a difference as millennial parents and the role they feel their generation can play in seeing the change through.
“As a parent you want to give your child the best opportunity to succeed and give them a life that is better than you were growing up, just as our parents tried to do,” said the three-time NBA champion. “When the conversation comes up around how those opportunities are not given to every single person in this country, just because of the color of their skin and because of the systemic oppression that some people might not understand how deep it is and the historical impact that it’s had, those kinds of conversations, especially as our child comes up and to see the world, seeing her friends, and seeing things that she’s interested in and the questions that she starts to ask, it’s disheartening.”
But Curry, 32, says the work is up to all of us. “We could be the generation that gets uncomfortable with those conversations—with the change,” he added. Knowing how we all can play our role to do that. We know it’s not gonna happen overnight. It’s a marathon.”
Protestors, activists, politicians, storytellers and community leaders haven’t stopped hitting the pavement to fight for change, and Curry believes that that is the work that will help to change the future.
“Everybody should be doing their part—stay consistent with it,” he continued. “And, you know, do it together. I think that’s the biggest thing about how this moment feels different than any other moment. As a parent, we have the ability to pass that information down to our children.”
Curry’s wife of eight years, Ayesha, 31, a celebrity chef, lifestyle personality and author, agreed.
“I think what’s beautiful about right now, too, as a parent, I find that a lot of parents in this generation are doing things differently,” she explained. “I remember growing up we weren’t able to ask the questions, and when we did ask the questions, sometimes it’d be an issue or we wouldn’t necessarily get the honest answer. And so, right now, I think it’s a great time—when kids are asking you the questions, not to sugarcoat it and not simplify it for them. Give them the honest answers. And that’s what we’ve been doing. And I think that our, well, our son’s too young to understand right now, but our girls, I think they’re getting it and I think that’s the first step in change. The children really are the future, and so just ensuring that you’re answering the questions that they have and not carrying on that generational baggage.”
The Currys are proud parents to daughters Riley Elizabeth Curry, 7, Ryan Carson Curry, 4, and son Canon W. Jack Curry, 2.