“Today” Host Craig Melvin’s Mother Has “Uncomfortable Conversation” With His Wife About Race

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Today - Season 68

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Lindsay Czarnick, wife of TODAY co-host Craig Melvin, sat down with his mom, Betty Jo Melvin, for a three-part series on race and family.

Czarnick, who is a reporter/anchor for Fox Sports, shared the videos to her Instagram page over the course of three days with her followers. Betty Jo Melvin and Czarnick remained open and honest and Czarnick made it clear that she wanted to learn more about her as a Black woman, who grew up in South Carolina in the 1960’s and raised two sons of her own.

Czarnick and the TODAY show host have two kids, a son named Delano, 6, and daughter Sybil, 3.

 

But one of the most interesting parts of the talk was when Czarnick asked her mother-in-law to be candid regarding her initial thoughts when she discovered her son was dating a white woman.

“He had to tell me that you were white,” Betty Jo said. “I don’t even know how it came up, y’all had been dating a while and it came up!”

But even though she initially was surprised, she said she taught her sons to love people for their character, not their color.

“I told him that love has no color, that your skin color doesn’t matter, as long as you loved him and he loved you,” Betty Jo said. “The color of your skin has nothing to do with who you are on the inside.”

Betty Jo stressed that she wants her grandchildren to be equally aware of who they are an their power, and submitted the task to her son and daughter-in-law.

“It was the children that I said, you know, you have to prepare your children and you have to make sure.”

She also shared some of her experiences as a child in the Jim Crow south, acknowledging the current environment surrounding the unjust killings of Black people at the hands of the police.

“I walked to school as children would spit out of the windows on the bus,” she said.

“We were taught how to act a certain way and what not to do to provoke anybody. That’s how I grew up,” she said. “I also grew up with the KKK … and I grew up when the bathrooms said ‘Blacks only’ and ‘Whites only.'”

Craig Melvin later thanked his wife for hosting the conversation. He also acknowledged in a separate conversation with fellow colleague Al Roker that he knows his children will only be identified as Black as they walk through the world.

“The reality is my kids are black,” Craig said. “And they at some point will have to become aware of the fact that that is how society views them. I think for some children it’s a little trickier because you see both in yourself and you have these identity issues.”

“So we’re starting to talk about how we’re going to be able to help them navigate issues that we didn’t have to deal with,” Craig said. “My wife is white, she grew up white, I grew up black, that was it. It’s a weird thing.”

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