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Tyler Perry has spoken candidly about why he’s been “holding out” on having a discussion about race with his seven-year-old son, Aman.

The 52-year-old actor opened up about raising his child, who he shares with ex Gelila Bekele, during a recent conversation with AARP The Magazine for its August/September cover story. During the interview, Perry said that he wants to hold off having a conversation about race with his son for as long as he can so that he can protect the seven year old from the eventual loss of “innocence”.

“I haven’t had the conversation with Aman because he’s only seven, and I want to hold out as long as I can,” he explained. “I don’t want to tell him that there are people who will judge him because of the colour of his skin, because right now he’s in a school with every race, and all these kids are in their purest form.”

“When he describes his friends, he never defines them by race,” Perry continued. “So, the moment he loses that innocence is going to be a very, very sad day for me.”

However, the filmmaker said that he will talk to his son about the harsh realities of racial discrimination soon, as he noted that the seven year old is already asking “really tough questions,” before sharing how he wants Aman to be someone who “speaks out against” injustices.

“I know it’s coming, though, because he’s already asking some really tough questions,” the A Madea Homecoming star continued. “What I want him to be, more than anything, is somebody who sees injustice, speaks out against it and effects change.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Perry discussed how he’s kept his son and their relationship out of the spotlight so that his child can have “as normal a life as he can”.

“I want him to know what it’s like to have his own name and his own life and not have the pressure of trying to live up to whatever or whoever your father was,” Perry explained.

This isn’t Perry’s first time opening up about his priorities as a father. While speaking with Gayle King during a Q&A at the Tribeca Film Festival in June, he revealed how he and Bekele have taught Aman about “struggle” and being grateful for what he has in life.

“We teach him about the struggle,” he said, according to People. “We teach him about what a blessing it is to have anything! So he gets that, in this sense. And I want to make sure he maintains that.”

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