This Mother’s Day, consider gifting the motherly figure in your life a book about Black motherhood. Black mothers in society oftentimes sit at the crux of innovation, liberation and community.
These books about Black motherhood are emotional, inspiring and filled with love, just like the maternal women in our lives. Although Black mothers are not the same and cannot be painted with one broad brush, we can recognize their impact on society as a whole.
Celebrating Black mothers for Mother’s Day goes beyond just celebrating the people that gave birth to you. It’s also a time to reflect on the Black women in your community. From the elderly women who are always looking out the window watching the neighborhood kids to the church mothers, we all can be thankful for the Black motherly figures in our lives.
An Ode To Black Mothers
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Being a mother or motherly figure is a never-ending job, and oftentimes, it’s also a thankless job. But Black mothers always find ways to get it done. However, when it comes to finding books about Black motherhood, there is still a huge publishing gap compared to parenting books by and about white mothers. Black mothers deserve to have their journeys shared and appreciated by the masses as well.
We’ve rounded up five books about motherhood from different perspectives. We’ve included both fiction and non-fiction in hopes of sparking conversation after a good read. Who knows, maybe you can encourage the mother in your life to start a book club. The ultimate goal is to encourage a positive conversation about how motherhood impacts Black women.
Here are five books about Black motherhood that encapsulate what Black mothers experience with their children and in society as a parent. The mother in your life is sure to enjoy these reads.Jump to Products
We Deserve Monuments
We Deserve Monuments is a young adult book by Jas Hammonds. However, don't let this young adult fool you into thinking this story is fit for all ages. This multi-generational story centers on a young, queer girl named Avery, her mother and her gravely ill but sassy grandmother. Avery is trying to get over a possible breakup before her mother uproots the entire family to go back to her hometown in the South. It's there that Avery crushes on the girl next door, unearths family secrets and tries her hardest to repair the broken relationship between her mother, herself and her grandmother. It's an emotional read about Black mothers and their daughters and the challenges they face in society.
Birthing Black Mothers
Birthing Black Mothers is a non-fiction book by academic and feminist theorist Jennifer Christine Nash. In her book, she argues that Black motherhood is a powerful, political intersection in America. She details how the social movement of "Mothering While Black" has become synonymous with social justice movements and mainstream political conversations. Nash also highlights how Black motherhood has made mainstream issues the concerns of Black families, such as access to better maternal health care, education policies and breastfeeding. Even though this book is a bit heavily saturated with academic jargon at times, it is an insightful read on how Black motherhood has been the backbone of progress in America for decades.
Ain’t That A Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between
Ain't That A Mother: Postpartum, Palsy, and Everything in Between is a memoir and self-help book by Adiba Nelson. Nelson opens up and talks candidly about her journey with motherhood as an Afro-Latina woman. Nelson recalls her own childhood, which left her in survival mode with her religious mother. Despite her complicated relationship with her own mother, she focused on the positive to move forward but suddenly found herself falling down the same path as the women in her family when it came to her own relationships with men. When she discovers she's pregnant and finds out her baby will have high medical needs, she finds the courage to smile for herself and her child.
Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines
Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines is a non-fiction anthology featuring essays from a number of activists, community organizers and cultural workers. This collection of writing works highlights how Black motherhood has consistently been the face of Black liberation in the United States. Essays include the importance of Black doulas, Black mothers who protest and how Black mothers have collectively impacted public policy through the lens of Black feminist theories and practices. This book would make a great gift for maternal figures who are interested in creating radical change not just for their children but for all the children in their community and beyond.
Mama Bear: One Black Mother’s Fight for Her Child’s Life and Her Own
Mama Bear: One Black Mother's Fight for Her Child's Life and Her Own is a memoir by Shirley Smith, the wife of NBA star J.R. Smith. In this inspirational memoir, Smith shares her maternal health journey and how she had to advocate for herself and her baby. Her baby was born prematurely and was the youngest baby ever to survive being born at 21 weeks at the time. She shares how the motherhood journey has impacted not just her physical and emotional health, but her mental health as well. This is the perfect gift for those who gave birth to premature babies or mothers who have experienced postpartum depression.
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by Erika Hardison | June 16, 2023
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