Like many parents these days, Phaedra Parks has had to have some difficult conversations with sons Ayden, 10, and Dylan, 7, in the wake of the death of George Floyd and protests concerning this and other instances of police brutality.
"My children obviously saw the George Floyd incident on television and could not understand why that was happening," Phaedra recalled during a recent interview with ET. "We had a really harsh discussion about it and I had to tell them the truth… you have to tell the very hard stories. You have to make your children very aware of what goes on in the culture as far as, you know, race relations, how you might be perceived as a young Black boy."
Phaedra spoke to ET earlier this week following the June 23 funeral service for Rayshard Brooks, who was killed by a police officer in Atlanta on June 12, which she helped direct. The Real Housewives of Atlanta alum said that she has made sure to involve her sons in her activism through the years. "They watch me do marches. They have participated. I took them to the anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington D.C. and they sat amongst very powerful African-American leaders," she shared. "So they are very much aware of politics."
It's Phaedra's sons, as well as her other family members, who inspire her to fight for racial equality, she shared in a post on Instagram on June 20. "When people ask me why I go so hard for #black #men and #boys my #answer is- my two #sons, my two #brothers and my #dad. When I see how hard they #work, #love and try to do more for me and our #family it propels me to speak up for every black man and boy," Phaedra wrote. "I know the #police can’t see their intelligence, wit, integrity or desire to leave a meaningful legacy but if they could just see them as someone’s son, husband, baby or merely a human being maybe they will give them an opportunity to live. No #mother should #worry or have to teach their #son to #fear a person who took an oath to #protect and #serve."
Phaedra also told ET that she's "hopeful that positive things will come" from all of the work being done in the Black Lives Matter movement. "It’s very exciting to see the whole world participating in this whole movement, because it’s not just the United States. I see the protesting in Paris, London, the Middle East," she said. "It's refreshing that people have time, because they’re quarantined, to take time for a moment to realize that there’s some things that need to be discussed."
For the latest reporting on the Black Lives Matter movement from NBC News and MSNBC’s worldwide team of correspondents, including a live blog with minute-to-minute updates, visit NBCNews.com and NBCBLK.
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