When she found out she was having a boy "I just began to weep," Rowland said.
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There’s nothing like a mother’s love.

For Kelly Rowland, that love set in from the moment she discovered she was pregnant. But when she learned she and husband Tim Witherspoon were having a boy, she says fear set in as well.

“I remember being pregnant with Titan and the moment the doctor said ‘It’s a boy’ and there were all these shootings happening with our young men. I just began to weep,” the 35-year-old singer and mother of 18-month-old son, Titan, said during Essence Fest in New Orleans on Sunday.

Rowland served on a panel at the Verizon-sponsored Dinner at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, where she spoke alongside Verizon executive Kwame Trotman and opened up about her fears of raising Titan and feeling responsible to use her voice as an entertainer and role model.

“I want to raise a great man with respect for himself and others, and to know who he is and to know what his surroundings look like,” Rowland says. “I just feel like there’s great responsibility, not just as parents but as a community in raising him.”

Rowland, 35, who has her own singing competition show on BET Chasing Destiny, says she feels obligated to use her platform to inspire and empower the young girls who look up to her and she wants the black men in the community to follow suit and start empowering young black boys.

“I feel like our boys need to see it more,” the former Destiny’s Child singer says. “If our athletes and our actors and our executives speak up then they can see themselves and they can hear their stories and they can feel like ‘I’m closer to what he’s doing or I can do what he’s doing.'”

Rowland, who recently teamed up with Claritin and the Boys & Girls Club of America to create outdoor spaces for kids, also had a message for parents who are raising black sons.

“Our boys matter and their futures matter and they are our future CEO’s and they can do whatever they put their mind to and we have to let them know that.”