Kym Whitley: 'My biggest fear is raising a black man'
Kym Whitley’s reality show, Raising Whitley, has returned for an all new season, and Whitley sat down with OWN to talk about the show and about her life raising her three-year-old son, Joshua.
Whitley discussed the adoption topic and how she would address it with her son. “He’s smart, he’s going to be four soon. He picks up everything. I use “adoption” around him all the time to make it natural. If I make it something weird, he’ll think it’s something weird,” she said.
The interview got real, though, when talk turned to the recent police brutality and what it would be like to raise a black son in that environment.
“What I will tell my son growing up through the years is that you just have to be careful,” she said. “You have to–not to be quiet and all in the corner, but grow up and be aware of who you are…. When you see the police, don’t agitate them. There’s certain things you don’t do. We know there’s things they’ve done. I’m not the judge or jury, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. With my son, he’s going to come with questions–I have to explain to him that things happen in life. There’s certain things you can stand up for and there’s certain things you can lay down for.”
Whitley continued, “My biggest fear is raising him as a man. How does that happen? I’m not a man. If the police roll up on me, I’m not a man, things are different. With a little Black boy, there’s a different experience. I hope I can have my villagers and friends help with me with my son because I don’t understand it. I don’t know what I’m going to tell him. That’s the fear. What did my father tell my brothers? They’ve been profiled.”
Still, despite all the worries and fears, Whitley absolutely loves her new role as a mother: “Motherhood has been an unexpected gift. I used to babysit, it had a start time and end time. With motherhood, there’s a start time and there’s no end time. Just that–it’s such a huge responsibility. It’s changed me, grounded me, I’ve stopped chasing dudes as much. There’s a fulfillment in me. It grew me up. It makes you look at life and my career differently. Everything changed.”