There is nothing quite as sacred as Black motherhood. From the moment their children are born, Black mothers are swept into a divinely unique experience that is equal parts fear, love and protection. But, if we can all agree that the world does not move without the creativity and contributions of Black people, then we can truly say that the world fails to exist without Black motherhood.
This is the premise of Anna Malaika Tubbs’ book, The Three Mothers: How The Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped The World, which was released to critical acclaim earlier this year. Tubbs is an author, advocate, educator, and scholar who writes on issues ranging from mass incarceration to the forced sterilization of Black women and the importance of feminism, intersectionality, and inclusivity. With The Three Mothers, she solidifies herself as a necessary and refreshing voice in the literary world.
About the book, Tubbs’ had this to say, “Through honoring Alberta, Louise, and Berdis, learning their stories, and keeping their names alive for years to come, we can give them back the gift of recognition they deserve. We must also honor Black mothers who are currently doing the work to transform our world. May they be seen, may they be celebrated, and may they be thanked while they are still alive to hear it.”
In honor of Mother’s Day, she brought together a group of powerful Black women to read a pivotal part of her book. Alicia Garza, Reecie Colbert, Ryan Bathe, Chiney Ogwumike, Debra Lee, Sheila Pree Bright, Kendra Austin, Beverly Johnson, Karen Hunter, and Imani Perry are all influential in their respective industries and deliver a stirring rendition of Tubbs’ words.
Check out the video below:
The mothers and mother figures who birth and rear our heroes are far too often ignored. We love to see this conversation-starting and hope it is the first of many!