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Connie Britton is sharing her reflections on and reckonings with being a white parent of a Black child in America in light of the ongoing racial justice movement that swelled across the U.S. last year.
While appearing on The View Tuesday afternoon to promote her new film Joe Bell and new HBO series The White Lotus, the actress spoke to co-host Sunny Hostin about how she’s been thinking about racial privilege and raising her 10-year-old son Yoby, who she adopted from Ethiopia in 2011.
The White Lotus star described the last year as both “complicated and painful” not just for her but for everyone, “for different reasons and in different ways.”
“You know, for me, I am going through my own reckoning of the privilege that I’ve been raised with and grown up in, and have been able to create my life in. At the same time, I’m raising a Black boy in America and at the end of the day, he’s my son.”
The actress went on to say that she “will fight to the end” for her son, and that means ensuring she’s as educated as possible to help support him in his identity and experience as Black person.
“For me, I have to learn as much as I can, educate him as much as I can about not only where he’s from and who he is,” Britton said. “And we’ve done that from day one, but also, you know, help him understand what’s happening in the world.”
The Nashville and American Horror Story actor expounded on these feelings in a recent interview with United Airlines’ in-flight magazine Hemispheres, revealing that she had “cried many tears” over her personal journey of understanding what her son faces as a Black boy in the U.S.
“When I see Black men and Black women and Black children being abused and destroyed by the system, and by this white systemic racism, I have zero tolerance. I’m enraged,” she told the magazine.
But part of her personal journey as a “fierce mother of a Black son” to get to that place of understanding has been complex, according to Britton, and one that she said she has “a deep sense of longing to change for all of us.”
“Aside from the interpersonal for us, and for me wanting to really nurture his love of who he is, his understanding of where he came from, and also to empower him as a Black person in America, I’m also aware that, as a white person, the reality of what he is going to face in this world is one that is so complex for me [to understand],” Britton said. “As a white person, I have to come to terms with my own responsibilities and my own accountability around that.”
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