Lauren London sat down with Jada Pinkett-Smith on Wednesday (June 3) to discuss the impact of growing up around gun violence, the legacy of her late parter Nipsey Hussle and how she educates her sons about handling police interactions.
“What I instill in them is more about the police. How to handle yourself when you get pulled over. That’s more of my education, protecting them being black men in America,” said London about what she talks about with her three-year-old son with Hussle, Kross, and her 10-year-old with former partner Lil Wayne, Kameron.
London said that growing up in Los Angeles she had schoolmates who were in gangs, and by summertime “they were gone… they had transitioned from gun violence.” And while she never got numb to hearing that one of them had passed, by middle school or high school Pinkett-Smith said that for her too, that kind of hovering menace became “unfortunately, like a norm.”
Since Hussle was killed last March outside his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles, London, 35, said that it fills her heart to hear how many people have been lifted up by Nip’s music.
“I love to meet people that Nip has really inspired, cause it feels like he’s still here,” she said. “It’s like his purpose that was completely outside of any of us… it’s like he’s touching people still.” She said he would have loved to hear how his music has changed his fan’s lives. “When my kids are there and my kids hear it, they’re proud. Those are always very special moments.”
The episode was dedicated to how gun violence affects women, including London talking about how she copes with her grief and the traumatizing effects of seeing gun-related bloodshed. “You just get used to figuring how how to keep yourself safe in these environments and I try to tell people all the time… most of us grow up in war zones and I did not even really realize that until my life changed when I started to look at how my kids were growing up versus me,” Smith said.
The conversation also featured a chat with activist Erica Ford, founder of the violence prevention organization Life Camp, as well as shooting victims Dani Robinson and Rain Stippec.
Watch the Red Table Talk episode below.