Monday, April 13, 2009
A New Book for the "Other" Mothers
I'm not a big anthology fan. I just don't believe that I'm going to be interested in all of the essays included in the collection. Sure, I'll page through an anthology if I'm interested in the theme or know some of the authors, but I've never really been compelled to actually buy one, with few exceptions.
Well, I may have to change my tune because I just received a copy of the new book, Who's Your Mama?: The Unsung Voices of Women and Mothers and love it. Full disclosure, I have an essay in the book about being the mother of two boys who are two different colors, but that's not why I love it. That's not why I stayed up way past my bed time last night trying to devour the book in one sitting. I love it because finally, there is a book about motherhood that speaks to me as a woman of a color, a writer, a woman in a multicultural family, a woman who has contemplated adoption, and I could go on. Just as the subtitle implies, it is the voices of women who as of yet have really not been heard in all of the debate and discourse about modern motherhood.
I haven't read all of the essays, but of the ones I have, Martha Southgate's essay, Unnatural Woman about the difficulty in being a writer and a mother really rang true. She was brutally honest and shared her traitorous thoughts about escaping from her family so she would be free to write. I've had those thoughts too. And Eileen Flanagan's thoughtful essay about making sure she didn't raise her White children to be racist gave me a really interesting glimpse into the way White people internalize race, racism and privilege. There are also great essays about lesbian adoption, raising multiracial children and raising children in poverty. There were also great pieces about not wanting children, losing children and infertility.
The contributors range from award-winning authors to hip-hop activists. They include women of varied racial, socio-economic, and ethnic backgrounds as well, making this Meltingpot mama very happy. Editor, Yvonne Bynoe deserves a major cyber round of applause for being able to corral such a fantastic hodgepodge of voices, including foreword writer Rebecca Walker. Check this book out if you get a chance. You won't be disappointed.