Motherhood In Terms Of The “Black Culture”

2265 words - 10 pages

“Ain’t a woman alive that could take my mama place.” The late and great rapper Tupac Shakur spoke some of the realest words in the lyrics to his song Dear Mama. Ma. Mom. Mama. Mommy. Momma. No matter how you say it this person that you are calling upon is your Mother. This black African queen is the backbone and foundation of the family. This is someone whom either carried you for nine months or raised you from birth. A woman who played the mother figure in your life. Rather it had been your mother, auntie, grandmother, or great-grandmother someone held that maternal role. The woman who was there for you when you felt like you had no one else on your side. Once a child is brought into the picture a mother goes through what some may call one of the most precious stages, Motherhood. Mothers are the glue that bond everything together even when she feel like she may fall apart. Mothers are and should be highly praised for all that they undergo during motherhood. Examining all aspects of motherhood in the black culture helps to define the concepts of its symbolization, background, and relationships.
Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz factors out how it is always the dominant culture who has found it their duty to define the Black woman. Which then subjects the question of, “Is it fair for the white race to define motherhood of the black culture based off what they only see?” The first step into figuring out the meaning of motherhood in the black culture is to first break its meaning down to the simplest form. In order to do that one must analyze all phases of what black motherhood is which transforms into true womanhood and equates to a “good” mother, according to Collins (Sealey-Ruiz 141-53). Motherhood is defined as the kinship between a mother and her offspring(s). Then we have womanhood which is merely just the state of being a woman. Now when you define what a “good” woman is one may simply say “To each is own.” Basically saying what you define as a “good” woman may not be the same for the next. Now once one defines all terms of motherhood, womanhood, and a “good” woman you can move forward to incorporating the black culture and its features into it. Sealey-Ruiz included an insert from Carothers (1990) which stated, “Black motherhood is a full-time occupation even though black women have always worked outside of the household while taking care of the children and household (Sealey-Ruiz 141-53). She continues by saying, these black women worked so that their children could have a better life and greater access to an education than they had (Sealey-Ruiz 141-53). The key words in the insert is access. Once a black woman enters motherhood they know that they have to get the job done by any means. Even if it takes two jobs a black woman wants to make sure her children and household is secure. A mother wants to know that her children will have access to education and better opportunities than she did. Motherhood in the black cultures holds multiple meanings but the...

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