21st January, 2014
Ramblings on Black Motherhood
The Clutch Mag article this week titled, “A Black Mom-in-Chief is Revolutionary” really spoke to me as a revolutionary mother. As a college student I was known for speaking out on anti-Black and racist issues across campus, as well as demonstrating for various on-campus injustices. I graduated and continued working toward my “radical” ideals of equality through classroom teaching. After 2 ½ years of teaching I got pregnant.
No longer was I the revolutionary, Black activist woman, but I became simply a mother—and a stay-at-home mother at that. My choices in motherhood and staying with my sun were seen as opposing the beliefs I had espoused. Having a child restricted me in certain ways that made me seem less dedicated to being an educator or activist. I won’t pretend that my sun hasn’t changed the path I was on, but I think he has also given me a lot of clarity and focus.
For me personally, motherhood has expanded my interests and my views on what issues are important to me and my sun. I am revolutionary through my parenting and my expanding sense of what issues are critical to a group of women that are often forgotten when discussing radicalism and revolutionary lifestyles, mothers. The parenting choices I make, as well as the choices I reject are revolutionary. I will continue to make revolutionary choices because raising a Black child has to be revolutionary.
I have to defend my 1 year old’s Blackness when we go to a playground that is predominantly white and he strikes fear in parents. I have to resist friends and family defining what my sun’s masculinity will or will not mean. I have to stand up for his right to define what type of adult he will become. I will have to define my sun’s Blackness when he enters school and will also have to re-teach him topics that were taught through the lens of white supremacy. I will have to teach my sun whether to resist or embrace ideologies that will be presented to him outside of our household. I have to teach him not only what I believe are the right paths, but also how to avoid the many ways Black men can get caught in the system.
There is so much more that is hard to explain to anyone who isn’t a parent, but especially to the white feminist and Alice Walker disciples who holds their stance on motherhood to be antithetical to revolutionary womanist thought and action. If raising a Black child in Amerika isn’t revolutionary in it’s damn self then I don’t know what is.