Black Voices in Childrenswear: Pam Mbatani

Pam Mbatani, momager of child influencer Aria De Chicchis, explains the importance of teaching children—including her own daughter—why Black Lives Matter matters.


Pam Mbatani with daughter Aria; photo by Stefano De Chicchis

Describe what you’re feeling right now. I am not okay. I am not okay that in 2020, we are still treated inhumane. As a black woman, I’m tired as my brothers and sisters still suffering from police brutality. As a mother to a five-year-old girl, I can’t be silent. I don’t want my daughter growing up thinking she has no rights because of the color of her skin. I don’t want my daughter thinking police will kill her instead of protect her. It breaks my heart we are still asking for change.

How has the pandemic affected your family? It is evident the pandemic changed most people’s livelihood, especially urban black neighborhoods, which suffered most from death rates and job losses. I’m grateful that we only had to cancel events due to the pandemic. We did not go outside at all for two months. My daughter attends virtual school, and I assist her with schoolwork. One positive from all this is our family spending more time together. We’ve been able to reflect on many things as a family. 

As a black mother, what does the BLM movement mean to you? The BLM movement reminded me it is not too early to speak with my five-year-old daughter about injustice. My husband and I took our daughter to a peaceful protest that was next to our home. We walked for few blocks (socially distanced, of course), and that was a history lesson for our daughter. If there wasn’t a pandemic, I doubt we would’ve been able to peacefully protest as a family. (My husband would have been at work, my daughter at school, etc.) I have also been marching without my family to support the movement. I use social media to spread positivity about the protests.

Can you describe how you felt while marching in New York? It’s hard to explain the experience of marching with our brothers and sisters. I was overwhelmed with sadness because we are still fighting for the same rights in 2020. I was crying while I was chanting “Black Lives Matter.” Until justice is served, we will continue to protest. I appreciate other races that joined us at the rally, and I hope more people will join in the fight of racial injustice.

What’s your biggest takeaway from all this? We might still have a long way to go, but I will not dismiss the different racial groups that came together in support of Black Lives Matter. George Floyd’s protest opened many people’s eyes. I hope the dialogue will continue and finally change will come.  Black people cannot live their lives in fear. We’re anti-police brutality, not anti-police. Enough is enough! 




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