Regina King: 17 to 25 year-olds are missing milestone moments, rites of passage


Regina King is one of People Magazine’s four People of The Year covers. I’m sorry it took me so long to cover her, I wanted to watch her full interview on People TV instead of just relying on the writeup on their site. Regina is promoting One Night in Miami on Amazon Prime, which is based on the play of the same name featuring a fictional 1964 meeting with Malcolm X, Mohammed Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke talking about their roles in the civil rights movement. It’s out on December 25th. I’m excited for all the good movies coming this Christmas! I’m going to make a list of everything I want to watch!

I loved Regina’s interview with People because she got philosophical and introspective about the pandemic and about activism. It was fun to watch and I came away feeling like I knew her a little better. Here’s some of what she said.

What she’s looking forward to
I am most looking forward to being out of 2020. There’s been so many things that have happened, there’s been a lot of amazing things that have happened to me. I’ve had a lot of survivor’s guilt that has happened to me. ‘These great moments,’ but the world is on fire. I just want to be on the side of the healing. I’m looking forward to healing in 2021.

On being unapologetic
I am here and I am accepting it because of the wonderful artists that have inspired me… I am in this moment with my sisters, locking arms all the way from Julie Dash to Dee Rees. To tell a story and to be unapologetic while telling it. That word is actually a really positive word in a lot of ways. So often we, especially as women, we lead with ‘oh I’m sorry.’ Unapologetic is a good thing.

On being a mom to a 24 year-old son at this time
I’ve never felt just freaking useless as a parent. Probably a lot of parents can connect to this. Just for those 17 to 25 year-olds, it’s just especially tough for them. Watching them have to make sense of ‘how am I not supposed to do the things, make the mistakes’ that make you an amazing adult. I got a chance to go to prom. I got a chance to go to my graduation. That’s heartbreaking. Those little moments are rites of passage, your milestone moments. They’re gonna get through, but there’s a part of me that [is sad for them].

On her Grammys outfit featuring a t-shirt with Breonna Taylor on it
[I though] I have a platform, how can I not use this? How can I remind people that it’s so much bigger than just voting for the president? It’s so much more important to vote for those municipal positions that actually have something to do with your day-to-day life. What was happening with Breonna Taylor, I felt like ‘if I win this award, I will have the opportunity to visually show why it’s so important to vote down the ballot.’

This year, the most influential person to me has been Stacy Abrams. She really is a champion for American people and American rights. She just inspires me to want to speak up a little more. We have some huge elections coming up that will determine what Biden and Harris can do when they’re in office. It’s so important that people recognize that we cannot take our foot off the gas. We cannot become complacent. I hope people can start to think about voting as a way of life.

[From People TV]

I really like how she explained being unapologetic as a woman. I’m definitely going to try to bring that into my life more as I could relate to saying I’m sorry. It also resonated with me when she said she has survivor’s guilt. As someone who can work from home and who has a steady job, I feel guilty a lot. All I can do is share what I have.

I’ve thought so often about everything my son is missing by being stuck at home at age 16. He’s happy and resourceful, he Zooms with people every day and he plays video games with friends, but he’s not hanging out like so many of his friends. He shows me their IG stories and snapchats and it’s stressful to see a bunch of kids together like nothing has changed. The ones who care and who are staying home are paying the price.

Regina and her son in 2015 and 2005. Look how cute!

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photos credit: Avalon.red, Getty and via Twitter

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