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Here’s What Happens When You Take a 9-Year-Old to See ‘Selma’

By on Jan 25, 2015 in Parenting | 4 comments

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So, I took Le Kid to see Selma last week. Although I LOVED the film I wasn’t going to take it him; I figured seeing the violent clashes between police and protestors would be too trill for his young eyes. I mean, I could barely stand to watch, and was on the verge of tears for most of the film. Still, after watching Our Friend Martin on MLK day, Le Kid said he wanted to see Selma too because he “wanted to learn about the King.”

selma

I milled it over for a little while, asked other parents for advice, and even tried to talk him out of it. But I finally decided to let him see the film because he was adamant he could handle it and he wanted to know more about Dr. King.

Before we got to the theater, I tried to prepare Le Kid (or scare him out of seeing it?), letting him know that some of the scenes might be upsetting and that if he wanted to leave, it would totally be okay.

I almost changed my mind at the last minute, but we went to a matinee anyway. The opening caught his attention. It’s jarring, loud, and sad, but he made it. I breathed a sigh of relief, but knew more graphic (yet very, very important) things were coming.

When protestors clashed with police Le Kid wanted to know why some white people were so racist back then, he talked about wanting to hulk smash them, and thought the protesters were right to stand up for justice. When the Bloody Sunday scenes came, he didn’t cry (like me), but leaned into side and flinched every time someone got hit.

After the film Le Kid was full of questions (and opinions), so we talked about the bad ol’ days of American history, which included slavery, Jim Crow, and rampant racism. I told him his great-grandma grew up in the South and she had to live through segregation, and he said he’d ask her about it too. Score.

Although I was nervous about taking him to see the film, I’m glad I did. Kids are amazingly smart and resilient and WANT knowledge. I’m glad I was able to expose him to some of America’s troubling history, which opened the door for us to discuss it more.

Most importantly, though, I’m glad I was able to capture some of his thoughts on video, and now we’re sharing it with you.

So take a look at one 9-year-old’s opinion Selma. And if you haven’t seen it, GO!

 

Have you and/or your #BrownBoyGenius seen Selma? What did you think?

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4 Comments

  1. Iris

    January 27, 2015

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    It was interesting to see why you did not want to take Le Kid. Especially after I try to convince a friend that she should let your 16 year and 11 year old daughters see it. She didn’t want to do it either and I did not understand. I understand a little better now. And I am hoping that she finds the courage to have that moment with her children about one of the most important part of our history.

    • Britni

      January 29, 2015

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      Well, she should totally let her 16 & 11-year-old see it, especially the 16-year-old. She’s closer to being an adult and should be aware of these things.

  2. Val

    February 4, 2015

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    I took both my 11 and 12 year old to see Selma. My 11 year old was fascinated totally. When we got home, he googled all of the characters that were mentioned to learn more about their stories. The State of Alabama has a civil rights wiki, and tells the God honest truth of what was portrayed. I am so glad I took them both. Great call, Mama.

  3. Anonymous

    March 16, 2015

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    I know it feels or sounds gory but honestly, all brown people young or not should see it. I would venture to say, so long as the child is able to comprehend allow them. 9 or 11, the world doesn’t and DID not care to shield our children yet we keep them from it and fail to realize why they understand THEY in fact are indeed the target…and that starts day 1. It is the reason our education stats are what they are, why our schools curriculum are what they are(or are not). It is why our leadership is what it is(federally, statewide, and locally). It is why our prison rates are what they are. Not the sole reason but there is no argument that can prove it’s no contributing factor. It is why you must pay close attention to the things our teachers instill in our children and be even more steadfast in ensuring that we instill MORE. At 9 or a 11 they have reached a volatile stage in which they are soon to be teenagers…the next Trayvons, Mike Browns, etc. This is a war we are still battling and we must be smart about equipping our future as to not continue repeating the past. Honestly, it was more than just letting him see a movie and more than MLK.

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