Podcast

Momming While Black

Let’s hear from black single moms. Sadly, many individuals in the black community bash single mothers quite often stating that they are the reason for the brokenness of the black family. The release of male accountability is all too common and the blame game does nothing for the children and they should be our number one priority. So, we’d like to hear what single moms have to say, learn what we can do for them, and about how being a black mom comes with some unique differences that shouldn’t be overlooked and that we should learn to empathize with. Black mothers are literally are carrying and developing the next round of kings and queens so maybe it’s a good idea to listen to them for a change and see how those of us outside their position can be beneficial. With the existence of mass incarceration of our black fathers , the saying “it takes a village” has never been more relevant. Special thanks to Rickkita, (mother of two boys 8 and 9) and Katrice (mother of two girls 3 and 4).

“Single” in this episode isn’t being used as unmarried but instead parenting without the other parent being there whether that other parent wants to or not. 

Key Points:

  How is being a black single mom unique?

  • Being a black mom is about survival and strength. Black mothers have limited resources and must use what they have to the best of their ability.
  • Black mothers are heavily stereotyped. We know black women’s strengths are viewed as having an attitude or being aggressive. For example, when a black women is stern with her children, the “angry black woman” card is played instantly. Non-black women do not have to worry about that stigma. Your womanhood,blackness, motherhood, and being single all work against you in this society. 
  • Black single mothers are held accountable for the absence of the father. The first question many members of the community ask themselves when they see a single mother is “what did she do to get yourself in this situation?” rather than questioning why the father is absent. We also have a habit of accusing the mother of “running the father away” and saying “she should have known he’d be like this” as if black mothers can predict when men will lose interest in living a family-oriented life and pull out of fathering. There’s too many blaming tactics to name!
  • Black single mom bashing can trigger depression. We’re working on taking our mental health more seriously in the black community, right? Black single mom’s would LOVE  to open up more but doing so is difficult when resources are limited and  individuals who understand the unique intersectional experience of single-motherhood, blackness, and being a woman are just as scarce. Not being taken seriously and being labeled as “crazy” are all too common. 

What can we as a community do for black single mothers?

  • Realize it takes a village. At the end of the day, the child is what’s most important. 
  • Stop . Mom. Bashing. Doing so drains moms of the energy they NEED to have in order to give their best to their children. Remember what we learned in kindergarten? If you have nothing nice to say, shut the fuck up. 
  • Watch your mental. Moms, don’t be afraid to seek a combination of professional and personal help to keep yourselves mentally healthy!
  • Recognize male accountability. It takes two to tango doesn’t it? Just because society says “boys will be boys” does not mean that nonsense has to fly in our community. We must always push dads to do what’s right by their children, no exceptions. 
  • Be helpful. Mom’s could use a break. Volunteer to babysit, offer encouraging words, help keep mothers level headed, offer to tutor, anything! Again, it takes a village. 

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Check out Rikkita’s non-profit organization , Sisters Healing Sisters on Facebook.