Pathway Publishing, Oct 3, 2011 - 178 pages
What happens when a black mother dies? Or is AWOL because she is addicted? incarcerated? Overwhelmed by poverty, violence, mental or physical illness? Today, increasing mother absence, loss, and the phenomena of unmothered children is bringing a new crisis to African American families and communities. Much has beenw written and discussed about the absence of black males as fathers and the impact on the lives of their children. Little has been written about the absence or loss of black mothers. As an Early Childhood Educator and Special Education teacher, I began to ask scholarly questions to find out. There is a saying, "Be careful what you ask for." I would discover so much more."I have never been a daughter. My mama had me but I never had her. My mama was absent from each birthday. She did witness my first sweet dark almond on panties, cast approval for lover or husband, or bounce my fat brown babies on her knees. I knew so little about her I found no nourishment for fantasies. She died in car accident in 1953. I was two. She was on her way to Las Vegas, the mississippi of the west. Her mama had told her not to go. My mama said she was going if it was the last thing she did. It was. I don't have a mama had been my life-long mantra. It coiled around my subconscious like a python. It was an invisible and unmentionable yoke made by loss, grief and sorrow."Missing Mama is told through the stories of nine significant women, who raised me with varying degrees of 'know-how, ' commitment, and love. As I revisted each woman, I came to understand the importance and value of the black mama. She is the keeper of ancestral wisdom, familial and community culture, hopes, and dreams. I recognized that I have internalized grief and sorrow as intrinsically as I have internalized racism and other oppressions. I learned that mothers bestow the promise of redemption and healing. Missing Mother invites readers to participate in an introspective, collective ritual. Read, weep, laugh, and release.
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