African-American parents advise their children to police

Following George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, an outrage wave shook the United States and, more specifically, the African American community. Many parents of black children have felt the urgency to teach their children a number of “rules” to follow if they are also to be confronted by a violent police officer. The videos from these lessons have attracted a lot of Internet users who see it as yet another proof of widespread racism in the United States.“You say you can’t breathe, you make some movies, you breathe, you try to relax and let your body soften up. I need you to stay alive … This is what I taught my son this morning. Americans, what did you learn yours? “

It was with these words that an African-American father finished a video that gathered hundreds of thousands of views on social media. We see him imitate the position of Derek Chauvin, the police officer responsible for George Floyd’s death. With his knee resting on his son’s neck, he gives him advice on how to survive such a confrontation. If the man’s identity and the exact date he took this video are unknown, his first Web Event goes back to May 27, two days after George Floyd’s death. Other black fathers and mothers followed the following days.

Glen Henry, an African-American father in the San Diego area, documents his daily life and his role as a home dad on YouTube. On May 28, he released a video titled “We Had the Conversation With Our Sons – Being Black In the United States”.


“You understand that we want you to be very careful with people you don’t know, and that includes the police. […] They have badges and weapons, so you have to be very careful when you are near them. […] If the police come to meet you and talk to you at your age, if they ask questions, you don’t answer, you tell them you can’t talk to them without your father or your mother, “Glenn and Yvette Henry in particular explain to them son in the video.

This video is a filmed example of “The Conversation” or “The Talk” in English. This term refers to the solemn moment when parents explain to their children a reality hitherto hidden from them to preserve their innocence. For most American parents, this conversation is about sex and love. For African American parents, it is also necessary to explain racism, discrimination and … the possible police violence. “It’s a conversation that almost every black child had with their parents. […] We who explain racism to kids who shouldn’t have to learn all this, “Glen Henry said in the introduction to his video.

“How to Survive and Get Living at Home”

Many parents choose to give practical advice and rules to follow when arrested in police for generations. In a video published in June 2019, a father who has just offered a car to his son describes a series of very precise actions to be taken if the police ask him to fall back on the page.


“He’s my 18-year-old son, I teach him to survive and come home alive,” Terrill Salem said at the beginning of this video, viewed over 2.6 million times. In particular, he asked his son to place his keys and documents on the roof of the car and to raise his hands outside the vehicle.

The children who received these lessons from their parents also spoke, this time on the social network TikTok, the video sharing application that is popular with young people. After George Floyd’s death, this young African American filmed himself listing all the rules he had learned to avoid being raped or killed by a police officer: “Don’t hang up too late,” “don’t touch anything you don’t buy,” never leave home without your ID “…

Others have illustrated with choreography the fear of being killed during an obviously banal interaction with a police officer, including in their videos the anti-racist piece “This is America”, by Childish Gambino.

In the video above, this young man refers to the death of Stephon Clark, who occurred in March 2018. The 23-year-old young man was killed by two police officers as the two later confused his phone with a weapon. No charges were brought against themFinally, the African American police Bohannon based in the city of Austin released a video on the same platform to advise the youngest in the event of a police encounter. “Don’t put your life in the hands of a police officer,” he says.

Article written off Liselotte Mas.