Angela Bassett: My kids are in public school. I do not help them with their homework

2019 PaleyFest LA - '9-1-1'
Angela Bassett was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week to promote her role on 9-1-1 on Fox. I could relate to what she said about being a parent to teenagers. Angela and her husband, Courtney B. Vance, have boy and girl twins, Slater and Bronwyn, who just turned 13. She said that starring on Black Panther earned her some coolness points with them, and especially with their friends, but that it only lasted for about a year. When Jimmy asked her if she would ever pay half a million for her kids to go to college she said no way.

How old are your kids?
They just turned 13. [Black Panther] made me cool for a good year. But you know these kids have short attention spans. I got to come up with something else. As long as I’m cool with their friends. I hug them up and talk to them and give them attention.

When your children are older will you pay 500k to send them to school?
No. They are in public school. I went to public school. Turned out OK. I do not help them with their homework. They’re doing Ted talks at school. My son did something on ‘do aliens exist.’ My daughter did ‘do dragons exist.’ I let my friend who is visiting tell him ‘you need to simplify it.’ He didn’t [follow her advice]. It went very well, he gets very far on charisma, but no one understood what his Ted talk was about.

You went to Yale for undergraduate and a master’s degree. Is it what you imagined?
It’s more than I imagined. I met some of the smartest people I’ve ever known and I’ve also met some of the dumbest. A lot of book smart but how about common sense?

Did you study theater?
I did. That wasn’t the plan going in.

[From Jimmy Kimmel Live]

So many famous actors did theater at Yale! Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke from Black Panther also graduated from Yale and there were supporting actors and crew members from there as well.

The more I hear from Angela Bassett the more I like her. Kaiser and I talked on the podcast this week about the Operation Varsity Blues scandal. We said something very similar, that we both went to public school and that our parents didn’t help us much with our homework. We both have parents who are teachers too. You have to find your own way and these rich parents are only coddling their children by scamming to get them into college, along with making the system that much more stacked against students who do the work.

Here’s the interview!

Vanity Fair Oscars Party

2019 PaleyFest LA - '9-1-1'

2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party - Arrivals

photos credit: WENN

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25 Responses to “Angela Bassett: My kids are in public school. I do not help them with their homework”

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  1. Case says:

    I’ve always thought Angela Bassett was a stunningly beautiful woman. I’ve loved her on AHS, and like what I’ve read about her in real life, too.

  2. BlueSky says:

    I went to public school and my parents did not help me with my homework. My dad was a social worker and my mom was legal secretary with the county. I think putting both their salaries together they made $50,000/yr. I ended up graduating HS with honors and went to a well known university. All on my own merit. But now being a POC I now understand why others side eye us for succeeding despite our circumstances because they are used to paying/buying their way through life.

    • TabithaStevens says:

      I think they side eye you because you are a POC and successful. They could be from the dumps and still be mad.

      • me says:

        That is so true. I see it all the time. White people who have lived in this country 5 or 6 generations but never got out of the “slums”. They look at POC or immigrants and get mad we have made it, live in nice houses, have money, doing well for ourselves. They don’t know how much hard work and sacrifice it took to get here…no hand outs, no connections to jump to the head of the line. They act so bitter towards us.

    • TheHufflepuffLizLemon says:

      That’s awesome Bluesky-and I bet you walked away with an excellent work ethic too!

      My son is inherently privileged-white, male, gifted programs, winning state wide inventor contests, the works. I consider it my personal duty in life to keep him grounded as everyone tells him how smart and handsome and wonderful he is. When he starts believing his own hype, Mama is here to remind him to go clean up dog poop in the backyard and practice his soccer or his team will get better without him. Keeping that ego in check without damaging his self worth is going to be a full time job. 😂

      • me says:

        One thing you should try to do (if not already) is make sure your son has friends of different cultures or is at least exposed to different cultures/religions. It will make a world of difference. I am a POC that lives in a neighborhood with mostly all White people (I didn’t know this when I moved in). There are a lot of kids and teens living here. I have noticed most of the kids and teens only have White friends. Never have I seen them play or hang out with anyone who isn’t White. They have birthday parties and all you see is loads of White kids. Anyways, I think you’re doing a great job as a mom, good for you !

  3. asdfa says:

    Angela Bassett is GOALS. For so many reasons.

    • Lindy says:

      She really is. As a working mom, I love how matter of fact she is about the way she’s raising her kids and expecting them at 13 to do their own homework without a whole lot of help.

      • ReeseSmith89 says:

        So she’s like every other mother but she’s goals for some reason? And you do know she’s a millionaire?

      • eto says:

        Not gonna take you through all her accomplishments but just want to say you sound salty af, ReeseSmith89.

  4. Swack says:

    I helped my children when they asked for it and do so with my grandchildren. I’m not one who had to live my life through my children. I see it in a lot of sports also.

  5. Other Renee says:

    What a beautiful family. Those kids are truly lovely.

  6. perplexed says:

    “I let my friend who is visiting tell him ‘you need to simplify it.’ He didn’t [follow her advice]. It went very well, he gets very far on charisma, but no one understood what his Ted talk was about.”

    This made me chuckle.

  7. lucy2 says:

    Her kids will be better for it, having to work for themselves and their own accomplishments.
    She is awesome and timeless.

  8. AnneliseR says:

    My husband went to grad school at Yale, and the Yale Rep Theatre is amazing–there’s no similar-caliber theatre in a city the size of New Haven elsewhere in the U.S., and it’s one of the reasons I really miss living there.

    This is my PSA re: “name-brand” universities. I didn’t go to one, and I turned out fine. I graduated from a branch campus of a state university, whereas my husband did attend a fairly selective undergrad school. Based on my experience, if I went back to work full-time, I could probably earn a salary similar to his. We have little kids, I freelance, and it works for us for now, but you are not doomed to a life of penury if you didn’t go to a “good” university.

    *However*, if you attend a decent-quality (but not necessarily super-selective) undergraduate school (flagship state university or moderately-but-not-crazy-selective private university), major in a STEM field, take advantage of undergrad research opportunities, and make good grades, you would have an excellent chance of obtaining admission to a PhD program at a “brand” school. I don’t really recommend going into academia because the job market sucks (although there are other options if you have a STEM PhD), but I’m just saying–if you really want that bumper sticker or to be able to say your kid attended an Ivy or similar, there’s a very non-shady way to accomplish it! It does require hard work, though, which the Angela Bassetts of the world understand and don’t try to elide.

  9. LT says:

    Three out of 4 of my kids are in public school and their academic education is ok, not fantastic, but the rest of their education is very good. The diversity is wonderful and they are learning to navigate the world through their massive public schools. I do, however, have to occasionally supplement their education by making them write random papers or dragging them to cultural experiences. No matter where your kids attend school, something will be lacking – be that academic or social or economic or even physical. No school or education is perfect, if your goal is to raise well-rounded kids.

  10. Kyra WEGMAN says:

    R: “so many actors went to Yale” — yes, but the ones you’re talking about came through the MFA program at the Yale School of Drama. That graduate program (Winston, Lupita) is also competitive but it has nothing to do with the college application process, it’s based on an audition. And I think now it’s tuition-free. The fact that Angela Bassett went to both is great but the two programs are unrelated.

  11. KBeth says:

    I’ve always liked her & on a shallow note…she is so stunning.

  12. Bella Bella says:

    You will find that in the theater/acting world there is quite the Yale club. It’s like an instant ticket of acceptance in many circles. If you look closely, you will find that the producer, playwright, actors of a theater production may have all gone to Yale at different decades.

    Separately, I went to a ginormous public school. I think it was the same size as my college! There were over 600 students in my high school senior class. My parents very very rarely if never helped with homework. My mother went back to school when we were all in elementary school, so she had her own homework and she was exhausted. And later, both parents were too busy grading papers of their *own* students’ homework, as they were both teachers. Also, where he might have been able to help with math, we all learned early that my father was terrifying!! The expectation in our household was that all the kids would bring home straight A’s.

  13. paranormalgirl says:

    We’re well off. Our children work hard on their studies. They are going to whatever college they want and are able to get into on their own merits. Boyspawn wants to go to RISD and girlspawn wants Skidmore. They know what they have to do to get in and are willing to do the work.

  14. Alyse says:

    If parents want to and are able to help their kids with homework… nothing wrong there. As long as it’s helping their kids to learn – not doing it for them.

    That said, I was always pretty self sufficient homework wise. Maths was the only tough one I had to work extra hard at, and for that I’d go to the extra tutoring sessions that my school offered.

  15. MamaT says:

    I help when asked. I glance at grades through the online portal, making sure they’re doing ok, but rarely check assignments. They got into magnet schools on their own merit. College, what ever they want they will know what they need to do to get there and we will help them get there but it’s up to them

  16. Justwastingtime says:

    The older one (with ADD) went to private as he needed smaller classes and is now in a “good” college the younger one is in public. Different kids need different things. But yeah agree that Ms Bassett is amazing…