Victor Cruz Opens Up on Parenting & Raising His Daughter to Be a Proud Afro-Latina

Victor Cruz and his 8-year-old daughter Kennedy appeared on the cover of Parent Latina's recent issue, and the E! correspondent spoke in detail about his priorities for raising her.

Dad: the most important job of all.

Victor Cruz is on the cover of Parents Latina's August/September cover, but the former NFL star and E! correspondent isn't alone—he's joined by his 8-year-old daughter, Kennedy

The former Giants wide receiver detailed his parenting priorities in a Q&A with the magazine, most of which simply aim to keep Kennedy grounded. 

"We live 17 minutes from my old neighborhood of Paterson [New Jersey], so I take Kennedy around there often and show her where I came from: 'This is how Daddy grew up. This was my house. I used to go to school here,'" Victor said. "By explaining that journey to her, I can help her understand that we've come a long way. It's her job now to take it further."

The father and daughter also do things like volunteer. Last November, they worked at a homeless shelter in Paterson during Thanksgiving—something he plans on making a yearly tradition so Kennedy "can see how important it is to take care of our communities."

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Victor's hometown of Paterson, he went on to explain, played a huge role in his ability to embrace his Afro-Latino heritage. To get in touch with his culture, all he had to do walk outside to begin "feeling the Latin energy—the bodega on the corner, the café across the street, people speaking Spanish all around."

Kennedy "gets a lot of that culture at home now too," in addition to learning about Black culture and Victor's upbringing. He's separated from her mom, but through co-parenting, they're both "making a concerted effort to raise her to be bilingual and multicultural so she's always in touch with her roots."

"The Black community struggle means I didn't grow up around rich people. In Paterson, everyone was living check to check, week to week, and that was the battle," he told Parents Latina. "But we figured it out. I try to instill that same resiliency in Kennedy."

Education is also important to Victor, and not just when it comes to Kennedy. He's passionate about social justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, and when asked for recommendations for non-Afro-Latinos within the Latino community who want to show their support, Victor reiterated the importance of keeping yourself informed.

"I've always preached education," he expressed. "To understand where we are now, you have to gain knowledge of where Black people come from and the lineage of oppression that they've faced for hundreds of years. Once you know the history and the things that are happening around you, then you can say, 'I know what needs to change and what I need to personally change.'"

Victor added, "The more you inform yourself and your family on the history of the Black community's fight for social justice, the better you'll understand how to move forward."

Read the complete Parents Latina story here.

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