A father’s guide to raising good men

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Jessica DuLong

Published June 16, 2020

We’ve arrived at a moment of reckoning. Two-plus years after the height of the #metoo movement raised awareness about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, nations worldwide are now in the midst of both a pandemic and a massive uprising for racial justice.

Around the globe, more white people are coming to recognize what black people and other people of color have long understood: that systemic racism has deadly consequences. Where does all this leave parents — particularly parents of boys?

The multiple messages are complicated. How do we make clear to our boys that the world sees them differently based on their bodies and the skin that they’re in?

How do we properly explain that some of the power and privileges they possess, through no effort of their own, come at the cost of disempowerment, damage and even death for others who live in different bodies, different skins?

Some parents feel no choice but to have “the talk” with their children about the very real dangers of racism and sexism. It’s a matter of safety. Other parents wait in an effort to protect their kids’ childhoods, wanting to preserve their innocence. However difficult, these conversations can’t wait. Change begins at home. But how?