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Sandra Bullock opens up about the challenges of being a white mom raising Black children

The mother of two opens up about the joys and fears that come with parenthood.
/ Source: TODAY

She’s an Oscar-winning actor and producer, but the role that brings Sandra Bullock the most joy is that of mom to her two kids — son Louis, 11, and daughter Laila, 9.

During an interview Wednesday with TODAY’s Hoda Kotb, Bullock shared that it’s also a role that brings her some worries. The 57-year-old, who adopted Louis and Laila, said she has thought about whether or not being a white mother would impact how her Black children feel about her.

“That was on my mind when they were very, very, very young — is that, will they love me less because I don't represent their culture?" she recalled thinking.

While that concern has been allayed, she continues to tackle a far bigger fear — a fear for the safety of her children in a world where their race alone can make them targets of hatred and violence. It’s something Bullock says she thinks about “24/7.”

“As a parent of a Black child you have to,” the 57-year-old explained. “You know, as a white woman, I didn't have to think about that until the day I fell in love like I did. You realize that there is a whole universe that you have to educate yourself to.”

She added, "Once you see it, you can't un-see it.”


But there is one parenting topic that comes with equal portions of joy and concern for Bullock — thinking about her kids growing up and going off to college.

“That both excites me and scares the hell out of me!” she said with a laugh. “I have a daughter who is so frickin' smart and so stealth. I mean, she's a shape-shifter. Louie is a 100-year-old man in a 11-year-old body, and he's just the philosopher and the laid-back guy.”

And together they’re her world.

As she told Hoda in a 2018 visit to TODAY, Louis and Laila aren’t just her biggest priority in life — they’re her only priority.

"It's my kids," she said. "Everything is about them being OK, being in school, having what they need, their moments. I need to be there for every single moment that they have. It's harder for me to leave them than I think it is for them when I leave. I don't leave that much, and I don't work that much anymore either. ... So my priorities are my kids, my kids, my kids. My family. My family. That's it."