Actress Kristen Davis appeared recently on Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk series to discuss the weighty question “Should White People Adopt Black Kids?” Davis is raising two black children, whom she adopted in 2011 and 2018.
The conversation ranges from the how-to of adoption, including the many questions prospective adoptive parents have to answer during the home study process, to hair and skincare, to white privilege and institutional racism, to birth parents. Davis, Pinkett Smith and Banfield Norris (Pinkett Smith’s mother) talked candidly about the need for inclusion, racial mirrors, and to build connections with people of color upon whom transracial adoptive parents can rely for guidance and education.
Because my children are African American, I feel like it is my duty and my job to do as much research, as much work, build as many bridges as possible, because you are their community, and that is key, and that is so important.
Speaking Creating a Family’s language, Davis was honest about her need for ongoing education and support when tackling the big topics of transracial adoption. She got quite emotional when talking about the first time she was confronted by racial stereotypes when out with her new baby girl. She says those moments lit a fire under her to learn more, for herself and her children.
It’s hard to put into words, really. I mean, there’s been so many things over the years. Gemma is seven now, but the first couple things happened when she was a baby and I’d be holding her in my arms, people would say to me, ‘Won’t she be a great basketball player?’ I just had to be like… This is a baby. How could you say that, without being just mortified? That’s when it began.
You can find the whole 22-minute episode of Davis’s Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch. It’s absolutely worth a listen!
Photo Credit: Red Table Talk