Gabrielle Union opens up about how she's teaching her children about racism

"You want to just try to give them hope."

Gabrielle Union, like many Black parents, found herself talking to her children about racism following the death of George Floyd last May.

The "Bring It On" star is the mom of 2-year-old Kaavia, whom she shares with husband Dwyane Wade. She also co-parents the NBA legend's three children from previous relationships -- Zaire, 19, Zaya, 14, and Xavier, 7.

Speaking to Health, Union opened up about having those courageous conversations with her kids.

"You want to just try to give them hope, to keep those flames of hope from being extinguished. But we were late. And they were not prepared," she told the magazine. "This is especially true when you have hope, and you buy into the American dream of having a good work ethic and just being a good person. You think if you just follow all these rules, there's this promised land of milk and honey. But then [your kids are] like, 'I did that. And it's vinegar. You told us…' So, we've had to adjust our approach, especially in the last year."

"With the older kids, we talk about how the world is, I'm not going to say changing, but at least acknowledging certain truths that we’ve known for the last 400 years," the 48-year-old continued. "People might say different things, but the proof is always in the pudding. You have to watch their actions."

The actress adds that speaking with Zaya, who is transgender, is more of a challenge because "there's so many roadblocks for her and her life."

"All we can say is, 'We're not going to leave you on the road by yourself. We'll be here. But this is what it is. And it's OK to still be shocked and hurt and surprised when people that you thought you could count on to be better aren't,'" Union explained.

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