The lively co-hosts of “3rd Hour of Today” already had established reputations for open and honest conversation long before the turbulent upheaval sparked by the tragic and senseless murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer, Sheinelle Jones, and Craig Melvin all have children, and besides being deeply invested in the news business, each morning co-host is grappling with questions at home from their kids. One is facing the justifiable outrage, the sadness, and the destruction in the streets.

In this morning’s June 2 segment, “Overheard on 3rd,” each co-host shared unique perspectives from their personal situations at home.

The “3rd Hour of Today” gang are still keeping their social-distance and doing their jobs, but their public is listening.

Al Roker tells ‘3rd Hour of Today’ buds that the colorblind approach was a bad idea

“Those of us raised in the 60s, the 70s—at that time, the thing was to raise kids to be colorblind,” Al Roker recalls. Many of his generation, including teachers in the classroom, remember the same goals. The affable and beloved veteran “Today” weatherman who battled a human stick of butter last Thanksgiving now confesses “I think that was a mistake.”

“We are different. My color is part of me, and it should be respected,” reiterates Roker. During another segment, the father of daughters and an 18-year-old son spoke of having “the talk” that every African American parent knows by heart.

He spoke about “being quiet and respectful” when stopped by an officer and never putting hands out of sight. “He's a big guy,” the proud dad declares. He doesn't hide his concern that just his son’s stature could become a problem in some situations.

“The senior spokesman on “3rd Hour of Today” remembered how his parents marched in the 60s, and now, it doesn't seem like much as changed, even though multiculturalism and diversity are often mentioned as ultimate goals in every societal endeavor.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was another guest on “Today” in the fourth hour. The basketball great told Jenna Bush Hager that a good first step for anyone wanting to see change for the better is just to “make a true friend with someone different than you” and build from there.

Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones know about friendship and being mothers to young children with questions in these times.

Dylan Dreyer goes for direct answers, as she tells ‘3rd Hour of Today’

“Today” meteorologist, Dylan Dreyer, has already faced the coronavirus in her very own family. She is thankful every day that her husband, studio technician, Brian Fichera, made a full recovery during the period when the busy mom had her hands full with the needs of her newborn son, Ollie, and his three-year-old brother, Calvin, while dad was isolated from the family in another room of the apartment.

Just like the family faced the pandemic, the parents face their son’s probing questions with honesty. “He compares everything,” Dreyer relates, noting how her boy will put any two things together to examine likes and differences, typically like a preschooler.

She describes how he will say: “She's short!” of a passerby on a walk. Mom replies that “it's okay to be short.” If he asks “Why is she brown (or any other color)? Brian will ask: “Why are you white?” The conversation and the thinking get extended from there. Adults could benefit from these basic starting points of just being human.

Sheinelle Jones recently began sporting her natural hair while on the air for ‘”3rd Hour of Today.” As always, the spirited and truthful Sheinelle admitted to being “nervous” about the decision. Her reception, however, has been so well received that the lovely co-host has even posted sessions on twisting out her hair. Her natural look has become a statement of freedom and acceptance for young women watching every morning.

This morning, Jones recalled when her own daughter inquired why she couldn’t have a ponytail.

Mama Jones related in the conversation how her daughter had gone to school with a beautiful “puff,” as many African-American girls know so well. When she came home, all the mother heard was that her daughter wanted a ponytail “that swings.” That led to another candid conversation, but it all was for the good. That same daughter, who swung a towel for a time, now dons her own weaves, braids, puffs, or whatever she wants, thanks to seeing mom as a strong, open woman of color. In only a few minutes, this “3rd Hour of Today” session spoke more than hours of most TV Shows on how young children can receive messages of being “less than” in such subtle ways.

Dialogue and truth make a real difference.

Craig Melvin confronts being a biracial dad in a new tone on ‘3rd Hour of Today’

Unlike his counterparts on “3rd Hour of Today,Craig Melvin pulls full double-shifts, one on “Today” and another on MSNBC. The intrepid newsman has been among those taking rubber bullets, tear gas, clouds, and scattered glass over days and days on “street duty. Like the other cable colleagues, he takes his normal facemask and a gas mask to work.

Melvin described how this remarkable, turbulent time has prompted more friends and associates than ever to “check-in,” just to see how he is, and if he is coping as best he can. Those kinds of interactions should be routine. It’s sad that social upheaval has to be the signal for courtesy and caring but anytime is better than never.

Craig and his wife, Lindsay Czarniak, are devoted parents to a six-year-old son, Delano, and three-year-old Sybil “Sibby.” The active family enjoys the outdoors and makes every effort not to be consumed by race, as dad elaborated this morning. The parents are completely honest about being biracial, but the current turmoil has caused the father to realize that his children are black as far as most of the world is concerned. Issues that neither he nor his wife had to contend with will be part of their growing years, and they are just starting to talk about how to teach their children to navigate them while they remain proud of their identity.

Al Roker wrapped the “3rd Hour of Today” conversation with his recollection of a Cheerios commercial as a child.

While it was groundbreaking for television, Al didn't see those biracial families much in his circle of life. “The only biracial parties like that that I saw were the ones that Deborah and I had,” the TV icon asserts.

Life is never like it is in TV commercials, but this “3rd Hour of Today” show set just a little time really listening and speaking personal stories can bring lasting healing. If everyone can be real and honest in the same way, then George Floyd is smiling now.

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