Today is the official start of Black History Month so most of my posts over this next month will celebrate African American history while highlighting the role of black mothers in that history. Harriet, Mamie, Coretta, Rosa, and countless nameless, faceless mothers got us here. Many of these women didn’t make cotton gins or take a bullet nonetheless their contributions are just as important.
Black Activist Mothering
One of the most important women in our history was the “othermother“. I had an “othermother”. You probably did as well. She was the one looked out for the kids while they played on the street or the one who always had an extra plate for a hungry child. Othermothers provided informal childcare for free and acted as pressure valves for black mothers in the Diaspora.
But they were no ordinary caregivers. According to Patricia Hill, these women were super-mothers who doled out advice, food, and who later became activists because they knew firsthand the needs of the children in the community.
Over the next 28 days let’s keep these women in our thoughts.