Day two of 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture heard singer LeToya Luckett moderate a necessary conversation about Black motherhood on the Beauty Carnival stage. Luckett was joined by entrepreneur and athlete Atoya Burleson and Love and Marriage: Huntsville star Melody Holt.

During the panel, appropriately titled, “Raising Black Children to Feel Beautiful,” one of the first questions Luckett posed was about previous generations’ confidence and what today’s parents can do to help their children walk in their light. Burleson remarked that she starts by simply asking her 12-year-old daughter, Mia, how she’s feeling.

Burleson noted that in her younger years, she felt nervous about coming to her mother with questions. She wants her daughter to know the door is always open.

“For me, I promised myself when I had a girl — and my boys too because we talk a lot, too — I would always ask the questions,” Burleson said. “I would be intentional about my questions. ‘How are you feeling? What’s going on with this? You know, when I was in middle school, I went through this.'”

Holt replied similarly, saying she wants to be her 10-year-old’s safe haven.

“I made sure to have a safe place for her where she knows she can talk to me about anything,” she said onstage.

Engaging in authentic communication, uplifting our children and letting them know we’re their rock are a few of the keys that will help nurture the next generation. This is why ESSENCE Festival of Culture is adamant about being the space where we can heal, feel and get all the way real.

What are some of the ways you help your young ones feel comfortable and confident as they navigate through the world?