Jada Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk had a very important discussion about gun violence and the trauma it places on the women who lose the special men in their lives to it. The episode aired on the social media platofrm on Tuesday.
“Very rarely do we talk about the women who are left behind, grief-stricken and shattered,” Smith says at the beginning of the episode. “George Floyd had a six-year-old daughter, a sister, a girlfriend...Ahmaud Arbery [had] a mother, a sister.”
The episode’s first guest is actress Lauren London, who lost her longtime partner and the father of her son Kross, rapper and community activist Nipsey Hussle, to gun violence in March 2019. She discusses how she’s worked to help other women through grief, and how other women have helped her cope with her loss.
“I think it’s important for people that love you to remind [you] of who you are, because…life can get you down,” London says. “People that see me—my heart—[are] really important..the people I know personally, [their] love is very important.”
London also says that one of her favorite things is to meet fans of the Victory Lap emcee, who say he’s inspired them to be better people. (“It’s like his purpose was completely outside of us,” she says.) She also explains that she met activist Erica Ford (the show’s second guest for this particular episode) during an event in New York City last year. Through Ford, she met a group of young women who were also affected by gun violence. Their shared experiences were cathartic for London to witness and experience.
“They healed me in a lot of ways, because trauma feels so lonely, and just talking to them, they gave me so much more than I feel like I gave to them,” she explains. “Just their stories and their rawness, it made me feel not so alone.”
Ford is the creator of The Peace Bus, a mobile initiative aiming to “create a space to ignite solidarity throughout communities.” The large orange bus makes appearances both nationally and internationally promoting peace and solidarity. On the show, she explains the importance of trying to help women cope with a loss due to gun violence.
“I see women stop living. I see them losing their lives from a broken heart,” she says. “We teach them how to move past that pain. If you help the mother heal, you help save the family. You help change the family. You help change generations. You help change the world.”
As for what she believes we can do to stop gun violence, Ford believes that we need to have conversations about the consequences gun violence can have on family members of the person involved. (“You never stop to think of the consequences and all the people left behind,” she states.)
Watch the full episode below.