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Overall, there are certain aspects of motherhood that are the same across the board. You love your child, you worry about their education, what they’re eating, keeping them safe, keeping them alive. But for women of color, there’s an additional sense of keeping them alive in regards to things like police brutality.
Black children are more likely to receive harsher disciplinary actions than white parents are for the same infractions that their kids have committed. Schools tend to be harsher with black parents as well. There was recently a story of a mother whose daughter was being bullied. She wanted to hear for herself what this bullying sounded like, so she brought her daughter to school with a recording device to record the bullying. The recording device was found, the mother was charged with a felony [of intercepting wire, electronic or oral communications].
If this had gone farther, she could have gone to jail and her family could have been separated. I’ve noticed a lot of people are interested in homeschooling their children because the traditional educational system does not have black children’s interests at heart. They have Eurocentric curricula that relegate black history to a month, or to slavery and civil rights. Children are being disciplined for wearing “Black Girl Magic” or “Black Girls Rock” merchandise. You just don’t feel safe.That’s an incredible story about that mother who was charged with a felony. It just makes me so mad.It’s so crazy! And there are so many like that. I guess because I’m a journalist, my immediate thought is to go to the injustice. But there are other things, too.
A few months ago we had a series about home birth. I was noticing anecdotally that for more black women on Instagram, their first pictures with their baby would be in a kiddie pool in their living room — not in a hospital. If you go onto Google and type in “natural birth” or “home birth,” the pictures that show up are of white women. It creates this sense that home birth isn’t something that’s for you, that people in our community don’t do this. So I really wanted to create a space where you see different ways of being a black mother. We often say that black people aren’t a monolith. There are expectations that we all think the same way on certain subjects, and that’s not the case. But I wanted black women interested in home birth to feel like they could type it in and find a place where people look like you.
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