I am a white mother of two white boys. I am trying my best to educate them about race and gender. I want them to be a part of the healing of this country. In order to do that, I need to educate myself. Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin is a memoir that tackles race, gender, and parenting in America. Nefertiti goes through her upbringing and how she was raised by her grandparents because her own parents were young parents and were often gone. When Nefertiti realizes that she is ready to be a mother, she is single and wanting to adopt a child of her own. She discusses the adoption process but how the system is catered to white parents. When she adopts her son, she is desperate for information to only find there is no information for a single black woman raising a black boy. The world is terrifying for mothers, but we will never know the fear that black mothers experience. The parenting world has no diversity, leaving black mothers behind.
“Racism as veiled compliments for Black folks was nothing new. Society could not imagine us as disciplined, hard working committed to perfecting our craft. Rather, strong Black women must be super Negroes with mythical powers who white people could safely cheer for because they were rare enough to be unthreatening. The inhumanity of this gaze is the problem and exactly the point I hoped to make with this book. Motherhood is so white and in need of a revolution.”Motherhood So White
Wow. This is a beautiful memoir. It is touching, informative, educational, and inspirational. She provides a voice for black mothers, especially mothers adopting black babies. As a mother myself, community is so important. I am a part of a local mom’s group. However, the majority of the moms in the group are white. They are a wonderful group but there are experiences that we couldn’t understand as white women. We need to help this world become more inclusive to ALL mothers. To be more inclusive, we need more representation in every aspect in motherhood, like parenting books. But it goes so much further than that. We live in a society filled with systemic racism. Black women are more likely to die in childbirth. Black boys have a target on their back from birth. Black mothers in the adoption process are seen as “welfare queens”–the only reason why they are fostering or adopting is for the money. Black babies up for adoption being called “crack babies.” Nefertiti Austin really shines a light on a broken system that is meant for white women. I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.