Davis, 51, adopted her 5-year-old daughter, Gemma Rose Davis, in 2011, and candidly discussed being the parent of a child with a differing race.
“I am white. I have lived in white privilege. I thought I knew before adopting my daughter that I was in white privilege, that I understood what that meant. But until you actually have a child, which is like your heart being outside you, and that heart happens to be in a brown body, and you have people who are actively working against your child, it’s hard. It fills me with terror,” Davis told WNYC’s Rebecca Carroll during a “How I Got Over” discussion of not understanding white privilege until she adopted her daughter, who is black, in 2011.
Following the results of the Nov. 8 election, which saw GOP nominee Donald Trump take the victory over Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, the actress said that she is on an “intense learning curve” in her role as a parent.
“I’m on the intense learning curve because I have to protect my child. I might have had the intellectual learning curve that we all hope and wish we have, but it’s different than the actual life that you’re on the line for. I have to protect my daughter at all costs,” the mother of one admitted. “My initial thoughts on Wednesday morning was that I wanted to move to the woods and learn to shoot a gun. It makes no sense. I’m fully aware. I’m 100 percent aware that it literally makes no sense but … the fear of what is happening and how am I going to make sure that no one hurts my child, even in a subtle way, which was already a fear I had honestly, but it just became so, so heightened.”
Davis, who starred as Charlotte York Goldenblatt on the HBO series from 1998-2004, was raised in South Carolina and revealed that she was exposed to racism while growing up.
“Right now I want to be in the bubble. I don’t want to talk to any Trump people,” the actress said, and added, “I grew up with some really ugly racism in front of me. Not in my family. We were at the university where things were cool but around us was really, really not cool. And it was intensely illuminating and as a young person really shocking. And to think that my daughter is now going through a different version of this is pretty stunning and shocking.”
Talking about her parenting style, Davis also spoke about how she regularly gives her daughter encouragement and affirmations.
“I always tell her … that her curls are beautiful, your black skin is beautiful. You’re beautiful. You’re powerful. You’re a goddess,” Davis said.
She later added: “Serena [Williams] is a household fixture at our house. And like Serena was on the cover of New York Times, and that thing sat there for six months. I work really hard at the representation part in terms of beauty, magazines.”