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When Gizelle Bryant and her daughters attended a peaceful protest earlier this month to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement following George Floyd's death, the women were following in the footsteps of her dad, famed Civil Rights activist Curtis Graves, who during his illustrious career in activism and politics worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.
The Real Housewives of Potomac cast member opened up about continuing her father's history of social activism during the Instagram Live panel, Amplify Our Voices: An Open Dialogue on Being Black in America in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"This is real in the field. This is realer than it's ever been," Gizelle told Justin Sylvester, the host of E’s Daily Pop!, about the current events during the conversation, which he moderated.
She continued: "For me, I got to take it all the way back because, for me, it starts with my dad. My dad was very involved with the Civil Rights movement years ago in Houston. For my daughters, this is third generation. My dad was working 60 years ago and he worked with Martin Luther King. For me, my second job out of college was working for the national headquarters of the NAACP and now it's my daughters."
"So my daughters are very smart. They're beautiful. They have an opinion. They get their opinion honest because I'm their mother and their dad is their dad [pastor and activist Jamal Bryant]. So they got strong opinions. So when this all happened, they really wanted to be involved."
It was actually her eldest daughter who found the rally they all attended and organized going for her family, which Gizelle was more than excited to do.
"My father saw my Instagram post and called me and he said, 'You know what? That made me so proud,' because this whole revolution, I'll call it, before it happened just to see George Floyd die 'cause we all saw the video. So after seeing the video, you have to have an opinion about what you saw, you can't walk away from that, I don't care what color you are, not having an opinion. So it saddened my father because here he is, 60 years out from all the work that he's done, and still no change," she added.
Gizelle noted that the words that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in his "I Have a Dream" speech delivered back in 1963 have yet to come to fruition for Black people and people of color.
"Clearly that dream for us has been a nightmare. Nothing has changed," Gizelle said. "So, for my dad, at this point, he's no longer angry. At this point he's no longer frustrated. He's just sad."
Gizelle noted that her father had hoped by now things would be different for Black people. And in the conversation on Monday (June 8) Gizelle shared that her daughters have witnessed racism and intolerance firsthand.
"To bring it a little closer to home for me, I have a 15-year-old who's in high school and then I have twins who are in the eighth grade. But when my twins were in the sixth grade, Angel, one of my twins, she went to school and on her desk is the N word," she said.
Gizelle further elaborated on her children's experiences with racism and confronting social injustice during the emotional and enlightening conversation, where she also detailed more about her upbringing and how she has "hope."
To hear more from Gizelle and her suggestions for next steps we can all take to change the world, you can check out the conversation with Justin, below.
Gizelle's partner and her daughter's dad, Jamal Bryant, has also played in an important role in recent days. He offered the benediction at George Floyd's memorial in Minneapolis on June 4.
Gizelle was joined by The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kandi Burruss and Porsha Williams during Instagram Live panel, Amplify Our Voices: An Open Dialogue on Being Black in America. More from the conversation below.
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