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African-American parents explain "The Talk" - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

African-American parents explain "The Talk"

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BEAUMONT -   Kenneth and Laura Grimes teach dance at the World of Dance Studio in Beaumont, and while their moves can be challenging, both admit dancing is much easier than being parents.

Although they've successfully raised two sons who are now in their twenties, they say there's added pressure not to make any missteps with African-American boys.

Grimes says, "Being African-American males and being in the South, we have seen a lot of prejudice."

And what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot be a police officer is what parents like Jerome Delafosse worry.

Delafosse said, "One of my worst fears is that my son will get stopped and get mistreated."

Jerome has two boys and the oldest just started driving, so he's at the age to get "The Talk".

When we hear about parents having "The Talk" with their children, it usually refers to the "birds and the bees" conversation.

Not so in the African-American community, where "The Talk" is instructions on what to do if an African-American teenaged boy is stopped by police officers.

Grimes told us about her talk with her sons, "I said if you're even stopped by the police, you just roll down your window, ask what is it that you need to do, don't try to get out of the car, don't try to have the last word."

Grimes' husband Kenneth said, "If you don't put wood on a fire, it can't burn."

He says "The Talk" is encourage their sons to diffuse a situation, not make it worse.

Delafosse agrees, he tells his sons, "If you do get stopped you do exactly what the police officer tells you to do, don't question, if anything you come home and we'll talk about it."

Other tips African-American parents share with their children during "The Talk" are:

*To memorize the officer's badge number
*To keep their hands where the officer can see them
*To not reach for wallets or cell phones


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