Let’s revisit this interview with John and Monica Conyers from 2000

Per a few Facebook posts, U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) and former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers renewed their vows this weekend after a lengthy period of separation. And that’s really all you need to know about that. 

It’s only notable because John Conyers is a sitting congressman. His wife, as far as we know at BLAC, is politically inactive. There’s an age gap between them and we’ve known this for as long as they’ve been together. At this point, it’s 100% possible to discuss their union without bringing it up.

So we’ll just take this opportunity to go into our BLAC archives, way back when this magazine was known as African American Parent. In this cover story from the August-September 2000 issue, the couple discusses raising two young (at the time) sons, their friend “Uncle” Bill Clinton and commuting back and forth from Washington, D.C.

It’s also a quirky flashback at Y2K-era parenting in the city. Some of our favorite highlights from the interview, which you can read in full by clicking here:

The Conyers were trendsetters in cutting the cord. John Conyers says raising a child had its challenges with changing technology. “Monica and I, for example, recently made the decision to take cable TV out of our home. It’s just too much for these guys.”

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Even back then, the Conyers family was wary about DPS. A little bit of foreshadowing now, but signs of things to come in Detroit Public Schools were clearly evident then, which is why Monica and John chose Cranbrook for their kids’ education. “At Cranbrook, they’ve got a good system, about 15 motivated students per class. In the city, you get 35 kids, some of whom have all sorts of problems. The schools can’t handle that, it’s impossible.” The Conyers family still acknowledges their privilege, though. “So as a policy maker, I’m trying to find out what can be done for everybody, those who can’t afford schools in Bloomfield Hills.”

Explaining Monica Lewinsky was complicated. “They’re thinking other things. John asked me in the car the other day about menstruation. Menstruation! He’s talked about Monica Lewinsky, all of that,” John Conyers says.

John Conyers knew exactly how old he was when he fathered children. “I guess I don’t feel like and older dad, even though I am. And they’re coming into fashion these days. I even formed a little club in Congress for us,” he said. “I just feel so happy that I’ve come upon fatherhood at this stage of my life.”

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