Why Ayesha Curry Took Daughter, 8, to a (7-Mile!) Black Lives Matter Protest: 'Not Sugarcoating'

Ayesha Curry opens up to Self about bringing daughter Riley, 8, to a protest, plus life at home with her family of five amid coronavirus-mandated isolation

Ayesha Curry Instagram
Ayesha Curry and her children. Photo: Wardell Curry/Ayesha Curry Instagram

The Currys are taking a no-nonsense approach when it comes to discussing social issues at home with their kids.

In a new feature for Self magazine, Ayesha Curry — a chef, cookbook author and mom to son Canon W. Jack, 2, plus daughters Ryan Carson, 5, and Riley, 8 — reveals that she and husband Steph took their oldest child to a Black Lives Matter protest after the killing of George Floyd.

"I think we protested seven miles that day, so we knew Ryan wasn't going to make it for the walk. But with our oldest, we felt like it was time," says Ayesha, 31. "I mean, even if it wasn't time, it was time, you know what I mean? And we felt like the best way to explain everything to her was for her to see it and understand it and hear it firsthand. So we brought her with us."

Despite her young age, Curry says her daughter "totally got" the point of what Mom and dad Steph, 32, were marching for. "She internalized it, and then was able to ask us the questions that she wanted to ask without being fearful of asking them," Ayesha recalls. "I feel like that’s been how we see change happening — because the children are our future, and I feel like if we're verbally and physically instilling in them the change we wish to see, that's the best way to get it going."

"So not really sugarcoating no matter how young the kids are — not sugarcoating what's going on, really tackling it head-on, face-first — has been what's worked for us," she says, adding, "And of course we wore masks! I am petrified. You know, our son has really bad asthma, and it's been very important to us to make sure we're masked up, we're home as much as possible, we're limiting the people that we see and we're taking all of the precautions."

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Ayesha Curry for Self
Ayesha Curry for Self magazine. Courtesy Ayesha Curry for Self

Ayesha — who lit Instagram on fire after she showed off her fit figure in a bikini in May — tells Self that "it took a long time" for her to realize what her personal wellness journey looked like, because she "wasn't the kid who was raised to go play outside and go be active."

"I started slow," she explains. "Especially for moms out there, I think it's important to remember to just have grace with yourself and realize that you had these humans, these whole humans, and so it's okay when things get out of whack a little bit, and that it takes time to get back to yourself."

For Curry, the "big thing" that made all the difference for her was "just finding that grace and also not overdoing it."

"So no dieting — that was a huge thing for me to learn, and that’s when I started to notice the change — when I wasn't doing these crash things," she says.

Ayesha Curry for Self
Ayesha Curry for Self magazine. Courtesy Ayesha Curry for Self

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Meanwhile, the kids have "been loving" having extra family time amid the coronavirus pandemic, when "they've had both" Ayesha and their basketball star dad "home 24 hours a day, seven days a week, month in and month out."

"Right now I think they're really enjoying everything, and when we do have to start traveling or start to go back to work outside of our home, I think that's going to be the tough part," Ayesha says.

She also feels like "a very lucky woman," as Steph "has actually been waking up with the kids every morning, and I get an extra 20 minutes of sleep, and that has been life-changing. For the first time in eight years, I'm the one to get the extra sleep. So that's been really special."

"For a while, [our routine] was looking like Zoom school every day, because the kids were still in school," Ayesha says. "So just balancing work, both of their Zoom schedules, cooking 'round the clock for everybody — that's been wild. I've always cooked with passion and made sure that dinner's on the table. But during this time it's been breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, every single day. We've just been at home, trying to keep it together."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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