Black mothers around the world are used to the public discourse surrounding their ability to parent, rear children, work and overarching image of them as a woman. From the infamous government report The Negro Family: A Case for National Action in 1965 by soon to be senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan described the “tangle pathology” of the black family structure and black women.
The stigma that was placed in the public consciousness regarding the black family and mothers has forever been sealed in the minds of countries elite. Even more so, 50 years later in the age of digital influence and media perspective black mother’s are still being objectified and taunted as illegitimate, struggling welfare mothers with bad attitudes, hair weaves and lack of respect for themselves.
The problem however is that we support it!
Last week I logged into my Instagram account to do some research for a new blog post. I started by searching hashtags like #blackmoms #blackmotherhood and #blackmomsay. I have to admit, I was shocked and appalled.
Every stereotype and negative image that you could possibly think of was attached to these hashtags about black mothers. I felt ashamed, frustrated and just downright mad. Why? because those above images do not represent me and I don’t believe it is a factual depiction of black motherhood and black women.
See it’s easy to blame the media and societal influence for spreading images that perpetuate the stereotype of the loud talking, gold-digging, highly sexual black woman. However, the true reality is that we have to become responsible for controlling our own narrative.
I was raised by a black grandmother who didn’t fit any of those stereotypes above. She was a hard-working, family loving, courageous, independent, kind-hearted, sacrificing woman. And I bet that if you think about the woman who raised you, you will too will find all of the symbolic and true adjectives that describe that powerful woman in your life to be true as well.
As a new mom, my husband and I are raising our child to understand the value of herself and appreciate all who she is and will become. That includes filling her world with positive images of self. We can’t afford to allow her future and perspective to be shaped by or influenced by the world around her. It begins with internal positive reflection of our self-worth and ends with the manifestation of our own reality. In other words, we have to take responsibility for changing the negative narratives that have been created to shape the black woman’s destiny and outlook on life .
So what can you do? As with anything, it begins with you first. You can’t change conversation until you engage the conversation.
TAKE THE 30 day Social Media CHALLENGE
Become a Positive Black Mom Advocate
Start my engaging your immediate circle of influence on social media. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram only positive quotes and images of black mothers. Tell your story, your history and your greatest moments as a mom. Pay respect to the mothers that came before us by using hashtag #IAmABlackMom #blackmoms
Sample 30 days
Week 1- positive and inspirational quotes from black moms.
Week 2 – share memorable photos from your family or friends of positive black moms.
Week 3- have you ever been inspired by a famous black mother. This is your week to spotlight them.
Week 4- If you are a mother tell your story. Share your best moments as a mom.
There is not right or wrong way to start the conversation. I simply want you to start. When we search #blackmoms or #blackmotherhood we want the world to see the positive “self” images of what it means to be a black mother.
Continue the conversation on social media. Spread positive images of black motherhood. Regardless if you are a mother or not we want you to Tweet and instagram all the beautiful, inspiring and motivational quotes, messages and images of black mothers around the world.
Let’s change the conversation and let’s change the stereotypical images that exists.