Kristin Davis is opening up about being a white mom to two black children — and how no matter what she learns along the way, she will never fully be able to walk in their shoes.
In a new sit-down interview with Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield Norris for their series Red Table Talk, the Sex and the City alum, 54, chatted about being a mom to her baby son, whom she adopted in 2018, and daughter Gemma Rose, 7½, whom she adopted in 2011.
“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,” she said in the video (titled, “Should White People Adopt Black Kids?”) when asked about white privilege.
“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,” she added.
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The actress also tearfully recalled one of her first experiences with racism as a mother to a black child, when Gemma was just an infant. Davis was “horrified” after people remarked that her baby girl would become “a great basketball player” someday.
And that wasn’t the only example of “institutionalized” racism Davis observed when it came to her daughter. At another point, later one, she noticed a young white girl holding a swing for her friend across the playground, even though Gemma had been patiently waiting her turn to.
Davis went to school administrators about the issue, who dismissed her and said, ” ‘We just see them all the same. We don’t see color,’ ” the mother of two recalled.
“It was a very harsh moment of understanding,” she shared. “I don’t know how every person of color has gotten through this. I don’t understand how you could take this every day.”
“It lit a fire under me where I couldn’t be relaxed or casual [about racism],” she continued. “But I will never be black, no matter how hard I try. … That is the truth, and we have to accept it. And therefore I will never be able to say to Gemma, ‘I understand how you feel because this happened to me.’ “
“That’s what’s painful and hard,” Davis added. “It made me on a mission to find a place where she was exposed to everything. It made me on a mission to put her in situations where I was the only white person.”
Davis told the mother-daughter duo that her decision to adopt a second black child, her son, came at least in part due to a request from her daughter, who started asking for a baby sibling at the age of 5.
“She said, ‘Mommy, I would really love a black little brother.’ And I was like, ‘I totally understand, baby,’ ” she recalled. “And then one day, there he was. And I tell you, my daughter didn’t bat an eye. She was like, ‘There he is.’ So beautiful. And then she held him and fed him. She’s just the best big sister.”
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