In a tearful interview with actor Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris as part of their Red Table Talk series, the Sex and the City star said,“I don’t know how every person of colour has gotten through this [racism]. I don’t understand how you could take this every day.”
The 54-year-old has a baby son, whose name has not yet been revealed, who she adopted in 2018 and a daughter, Gemma Rose, who she adopted in 2011 and is seven years old.
Davis was resolute about her view of white privilege during the interview, adding: “This is what I want to say, from a white person adopting [black children]: you absolutely do not fully understand. There’s no doubt. There’s no way you could.
“It’s one thing to be watching [racism] happening to other people and it’s another thing when it’s your child. And you haven’t personally been through it. It’s a big issue."
The actor went on to describe the first time she witnessed someone being racist towards her children.
When Gemma was an infant, Davis recalled being “horrified” when people commented that her daughter would become “a great basketball player”, based on the colour of her skin.
The Melrose Place actor also relayed an example of a white child holding a swing for her friend across the playground, despite the fact that her daughter was stood by patiently waiting her turn.
When Davis raised the issues with staff at her daughter’s school, she was told: “We just see them [children] all the same. We don’t see colour.”
The Los Angeles resident described the incident as “a harsh moment of understanding.
“It lit a fire under me where I couldn’t be relaxed or casual [about racism].”
Davis went on to acknowledge that she will always move through the world as a white person and could never possibly pretend to her children that she knew how they felt when confronted with prejudice, a realisation she described as painful and hard.
“I will never be black… that is the truth and we have to accept it,” she continued.
As a result of her experience, Davis said she was now “on a mission” to increase her children’s exposure to diversity.
“It made me on a mission to put her in situations where I was the only white person,” she said.
In 2016, Davis spoke about the “terror” she felt for her children after Trump became president, adding, “I have to protect my daughter at all costs.”
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