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Study: Critical Race Parenting Allows Youth to Comprehend and Vocalize their Racialized Experiences

A new study has found that critical race parenting allows youth to comprehend and vocalize their racialized experiences. The findings by Rachel Grant, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Journalism assistant professor, and Tennessee State University Assistant Professor and CJC alumnus Diane Ezeh Aruah,  were included in “With Pride:” Media Coverage of Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s Black Parenting of Zaya,” published in the Journal of Communication Inquiry on March 14.

The authors explored the identity complexities of critical race parenting through media platforms. Critical race parenting is rooted in critical race theory which proposes that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but embedded in laws, policies, and systems.

The study focused on former NBA player Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union and their use of social media and mass media to support their child Zaya, allowing the world to follow the journey of parenting a transgender Black child. The study also addressed the significance of social media as an educational and activism tool in marginalized communities to confront media stereotypes of Black families.

According to the authors, “Social media and news coverage of Zaya Wade’s transgender journey are featured in Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. By examining both the couple’s social media posts, comments/retweets, and the news coverage, we uncovered mediated messages around critical race parenting.”

They add, “We examined how Black parenting was mediated between social media platforms and media coverage. We saw how Black parenting amplified voices for social change and justice for Black transgender youth through the use of celebrity statuses. Thus, Black social media representations served the role of breaking down the monolith of the Black experience and reflected different complexities of Black identity. The social space for Zaya’s transgender narrative is redirected in the understanding of adolescence and parenting of the Black futures. Therefore, critical race parenting gives youth to comprehend and vocalize their racialized experiences.”

Posted: March 21, 2023
Category: College News
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