Alicia Keys Opens Up About Discussing Racism With Her Kids

The singer shared how she handles important topics with her sons Egypt, 9, and Genesis, 5.

Alicia Keys believes it’s important to talk with her children about major issues in a way that they can understand. This is particularly true in 2020, as protests call attention to entrenched racial biases and parents try to help their kids make sense of it.

“For us to even be more conscious of the things people say that might be, you know, not exactly how it goes or filled with stereotyping or, you know, racial profiling, or whatever it is that happens because it’s been taught, you know?” Keys told HuffPost while promoting her new album, “ALICIA,” which dropped on Friday after its original March 20 release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz have two sons together ― Egypt, 9, and Genesis, 5. She is also a stepmom to his older children from previous relationships.

Keys and her son Egypt Daoud Dean perform onstage at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles.
Keys and her son Egypt Daoud Dean perform onstage at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles.

This year has brought a time of much-needed racial reckoning in the U.S. Keys, like many parents, is encouraging family conversations about racial injustice, the history of race in America, and how to unravel and correct dynamics that have simply “been wrong forever,” she said.

“My kids have definitely ― we’ve been having it,” Keys said of her family’s ongoing discussions. “Even my little one, he’s only 5 and you know, he’s asking things, and I realized that I’m much more direct with him than I was with my first just because I guess I realized that it’s just time to be really clear about these things and start the conversation, of course in an age-appropriate way, but start it now.

“We can’t talk about it later, we can’t ignore it. Like they’re gonna be the ones to change it really.”

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