In this episode, Janelle Scales and I talk about the nuances of Black parenthood and the striking similarities between traditional corporal punishment we often see in Black families and the white supremacist system we try to protect our kids from. When our kids misbehave or express big emotions that we aren’t equipped to handle, what do we do? We send them to time-out. We take away rights and material possessions. We try to silence them. We do whatever it takes to get them to “fall back in line.”

How is time-out any different than solitary confinement? When we take away rights and privileges, we disempower them and perpetuate a hierarchy within the home. When we try to silence their tantrums versus supporting them during their emotional dysregulation (which is completely normal for all human beings, even adults!), we send the message that their emotions are not safe with us. If not with us, then where are our Black children safe to just be? To exist? Listen to parts 1 and 2 of this important conversation for strategies to stop parenting like the police.

Guest Info: Janelle Scales is an educator, activist, writer and mother of two. She is a public speaker and teaches social justice courses for both children and adults. Her essays on womanism and motherhood have been featured on Yahoo, Scary Mommy, and Expressing Motherhood. She is the co-host of Love is Justus, a social justice podcast centering black women and femmes. She is the cofounder of Neighbors Not Nuisance, an organization committed to encouraging activism among community members to help improve the lives of marginalized members of society. She is a proud Black American and lifelong California resident.

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