Craig Melvin Opens Up About Parenting While Black, Worries He’s ‘Shielding’ Children From Reality

'Before I have this conversation with him, I’ll continue to have this conversation with myself,' he said.

Craig Melvin stands on stage.
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'Before I have this conversation with him, I’ll continue to have this conversation with myself,' he said.

The Today Show’s Craig Melvin opened up candidly in a recent essay for Men’s Health regarding parenting as a Black man. He discussed the way he was brought up by his own African American mother and taught not to see race. Recent events have caused him to question whether or not he will take a different approach to the topic with his own two biracial kids.

Melvin reflected back upon how his own mom grew up in the 1960s and endured the unimaginable pain of discrimination. The way he grew up, he noted, was much different. He lived in a diverse area surrounded by friends of all different races. His mom protected him from the frightening truth of racism.

“I’m not blaming my mother for my inability to see ‘soft’ racism, but consequently I may be doing the same thing with my children that my mother did with [younger brother] Ryan and me: shielding,” he wrote.

When Melvin grew up and became a reporter, he frequently covered topics involving racial prejudice, such as the case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. He often heard and saw examples of injustice in the news and still, he did not think it would be something he would have to worry about his own children enduring one day. As he recalled, Barack Obama was president and he had hope that he and his wife were living in a “post-racial America.”

Craig Melvin looks on.
  Noam Galai / Getty Images

“The fact that our son would be biracial wasn’t a chief concern. We had more conversations about how cool it was going to be to have a child in a new America. In looking back on that time, I now realize that perhaps I had been lulled into a sense of complacency,” he explained.

But after the death of George Floyd and the events that followed, Melvin is re-thinking many things. His eyes have been opened to a new reality.

Melvin shares two children with his wife, Lindsay Czarniak, who is Caucasian, as The Inquisitr previously reported. His son is 6 years old and his daughter is 3. Thus far, he has not had a talk about racism with them, although he knows that will come in the future. Melvin recognizes that his son, in particular, might face prejudice in the future because of his skin color and he will need to prepare him for that. However, he admitted he has to do some own self-reflection before anything else.

“But before I have this conversation with him, I’ll continue to have this conversation with myself,” he concluded.