February is wrapping up, but it’s always time for Black History! I’ve been reading Anna Malaika Tubbs’ history “The Three Mothers” this month. Her book braids together the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Her hot take? It’s all about the Black moms.
Lifting up Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little, Tubbs sets the stage for the political engagement of their sons. Her original scholarship claps back on stereotypes of Black families as apathetic at best and criminal at worst. Their strategic parenting nurtured the vision that we call the modern Civil Rights Movement. It’s a stark reminder that Black women have consistently overdelivered for the United States.
Those blockbuster mothers set me to thinking about Faith Ringgold and Emma Amos. These cool art moms have been celebrated in recent retrospectives. “Faith Ringgold: American People” and “Emma Amos: Color Odyssey” display their shared focus on bodies in active, affirming motion. As I read more about both of these artists, their imprint on following generations is as striking as their work. Amos passed away just before her retrospective opened, but the love for her is evident in the essays accompanying the show.
Which is all to say, there are so many facets to our shared history. Here’s to Black heroines, whether we find them In the library, gallery, or real life!
- Faith Ringgold Has All the Answers [article via Interview Magazine]
- Virtual Discussion: “Emma Amos: Color Odyssey”
- “That’s So Black,” VOL 3: #MeToo
- and a little Black History bounce! Ella Baker Shaker – Jonathan Lykes ft. Big Freedia