Parenting Black Teenagers

Carvell Wallace for The New York Times on what it’s like to be a black parent to teenages.

Her generation has known nothing but chaos and impending doom. She was in third grade the first time our minivan was diverted from the road on the way home from school by a phalanx of officers in riot gear. She was 6 the first time she asked me about climate change. Her white, male sixth-grade science teacher said the N-word with a hard “R.” Her seventh-grade science teacher gave their class the New Yorker article about the West Coast’s inevitable city-destroying earthquake. She was 12 when an 18-year-old black woman was murdered in what many feared was a racially motivated attack, on the same BART platform where she catches the train to school. She has lived through school-shooting drills, neo-Nazi rallies in the park where she used to play, police murders, car break-ins, sexual predators lingering outside her schoolyard and weeks of wildfires that turn the sky orange and make it impossible to breathe outdoors. A global pandemic that shuts down the world was not news to her. It was the opposite of news. It was something as old as her life.

Wallace, Carvell. (2020, June 15). Trying to Parent My Black Teenagers Through Protest and Pandemic. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/magazine/parenting-black-teens.html?referringSource=articleShare

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