Abstract

Abstract:

The Black mothers of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, including mothers who have lost a child through ritualized state violence, have now begun to speak out, positing Black motherhood as a site of resistance and contestation to state violence. They have also dismantled much of the racist and sexist imagery that surrounds Black motherhood as an institution and praxis. This essay will explore past Black maternal activism and current labor and politicized care as embodied through Margaret Garner, Korryn Gaines, Lezley McSpadden, Geneva Reed-Veal, and cofounder of the #BlackLivesMatter network, Patrisse Cullors, to elucidate the many ways in which their images and voices complicate and layer society's many misconceptions of what Black motherhood represents. Utilizing Black feminist, queer feminist, and reproductive justice scholarship, this essay will argue that the mothers of the #BlackLives-Matter movement represent the past and current noncomplacency of Black mothers. It will also rearticulate how their maternal activism and life stories show that love enacted as politicized care continues to dismantle the gendered and racialized assumptions of Black mothers as an institution and a subjective identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1456
Print ISSN
0162-4962
Pages
pp. 876-894
Launched on MUSE
2019-03-08
Open Access
No
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