I have three young children. Whenever I have them in public it’s always a gamble. Sometimes they are calm and quiet, and sometimes they frustrate me, leave me frazzled and feeling like a failure. I receive looks of all kinds, namely from people who either pity me or wonder why I tried to bring my children out in the first place. Then there are other looks…beyond judgement, that come mainly from white people. I’m alone with three kids, black, “a single mom”–and I’m obviously struggling. Because I’m aware of the many ideas people may have about how I handle my four year old tantruming and screaming in the middle of the aisle, I choose patience. I talk calmly and quietly to my kids. I don’t shush them when they are singing a Moana song as loud as they can from the grocery cart. I don’t order them to “act well” in public. I try to allow them to be themselves. Do I teach them manners and how to conduct themselves? Absolutely. But I’m not going allow my children to be diminished for the sake of people who are inconsequential to their lives, and frankly for people who don’t value their lives. Cray white people, here’s what I want you to know: I love my children as much as you love yours. They are not less than your children because they are black. I am dedicated to their health and wellbeing. Black mothers are just as gentle, kind and patient with their children as white mothers. All children deserve that.
One response to “Is Black Motherhood Radical?”
This is a beautiful post, k. Well said. I want to have this same attitude towards raising and protecting my future children and allowing them to be who they are in a world which systematically tries to deny their humanity.