Pop Mom Daily: What Actress Sandra Bullock Has In Common With Black Moms

October 8, 2015  |  

“I want my son to be safe. I want my son to be judged for the man he is,” says Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock in a cover story for the October 2015 issue of Glamour magazine. “If I could ride in a bubble with him for the rest of his life, I would. But I can’t,” she adds, talking about her adopted five-year-old son Louis, in the context of raising a Black boy in America.

I pause. As a Black woman with two daughters, ages three and five, I want the same things and share the same fears. I hope that they will be afforded the same opportunities as everyone else and not put in a box because of the color of their skin. I want them to be safe too, and yet I’m constantly reminded that they are not. Perfect example: The white guy who posted a selfie on Facebook with his co-worker’s black kid. It set off a barrage of racist comments from his white friends. The kid is only three-years-old.

It’s unexpected, this moment of connection and reflection that I feel towards Bullock because, frankly, my relationship with white women has always been a bit weird. It started in elementary school when I found myself having to explain Blackness. “What happens when your hair gets wet?” asked classmate Anna while taking a swim. Surely, she was just curious, but as the only Black girl in my class, I didn’t like always having to explain Blackness. I just wanted to swim like everyone else. Before long, I found that being around Black people was just easier and my relationships with white women never advanced beyond the 4th grade, which is probably the case with Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus, and Black and white women in general.

We just don’t talk.

As a result, we don’t get to know each other, which feeds a vicious cycle of you-stay-in-your-corner-and-I’ll-stay-in-mine. Which in turn, keeps us from talking, which again, keeps us apart. You get my drift.

Six years ago I became a mom and that changed things because I find myself connecting with women on that basis. If a mom in my area has kids the same age as mine, we connect. Color suddenly becomes less important when our kids need activities and we moms need resources to make navigating motherhood easier. Funny enough, white women are solidly in my network now, sharing information, providing loads of activities and lending a helping hand. Regardless of the white and Black thing, there is a mommy community to which I belong, along with Asians, Hispanics and even an African mom. West Side Momfia, as they are known.

It’s not always perfect. Sometimes when speaking to one another something can be said in regard to race that’s ass backwards, and I find myself having to explain. But because we’re talking, things get clarified, and we get a chance to move on in the name of what links us. Our kids.

Erickka Sy Savané is a freelance writer and creator of THE BREW, a social commentary blog. Before that she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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