Gabrielle Union Speaks Out On The 'Terrifying' Reality Of Raising Black Sons In America

"Your very blackness, from birth, has been demonized and weaponized."

Gabrielle Union talked about the “terrifying” act of raising young black men in America on “The View” on Tuesday.

The actress revealed the tough conversations she’s had to have while raising two of husband Dwyane Wade’s sons and his nephew.

“It is absolutely terrifying,” Union said. “It is a constant, scary challenge.”

Union talked about the “panic” and “numbness” she felt after finding out via Snapchat that her sons were participating in a game referred to as the “drive-by dunk challenge,” where kids drive through the neighborhood and dunk in any basketball hoop they passed.

It seems innocent enough, but Union was worried about Florida’s open-carry and “stand your ground” gun laws; the latter allows people to use deadly force without retreating if they fear for their safety.

So she communicated to the boys why that “game” wasn’t really a game at all: “The second I got home, I was like, ‘They can kill you and get away with it, because now you’re trespassing.’”

She added later that the boys “wanna be able to act the way their friends act, talking back to authority,” but that she’s had to stress that they’ll “die” if they do that because “it’s different.”

Union calls instances like that “black truth bombs,” and then describes another “bomb” she dropped on her sons when they were living in Chicago last year. 

“If they couldn’t easily be identified as our children, they were just dangerous black boys. And their very presence to a lot of our neighbors felt threatening. That’s all you have to say to get away with killing black people,” Union said.

Union stressed that having that conversation with young boys is difficult.

“What do you say, you know? Your very blackness, from birth, has been demonized and weaponized and is considered inherently threatening and less than,” she said. 

Union has always been very vocal about the challenges her family has faced and personal experiences she’s had. Most recently, the star opened up about going through IVF and having multiple miscarriages with Wade, and being sexually assaulted.

testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks.


5 Features With Black Stars Coming To Netflix This September