Sunday, May 9, 2010
Martha Simmons, Creator and Director, The African American Lectionary
Black women have a long history of arising like Deborah did in Israel, as strong mothers of their people. So, on this day, every card, bouquet of flowers, box of candy, picture drawn, breakfast made and dinner provided is well deserved for the queens of our community who have done and continue to do so much to uplift us all.
On this day we salute all who are striving to be good mothers and remember with fondness those who have crossed the golden strands and from the balcony of heaven urge on their children to higher heights and deeper depths. One is a mother not because she can gestate and give birth, but because of what she tries to do—love, encourage, inspire, teach and nurture.
We also recognize, as Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder said so eloquently in the lectionary commentary for today, “Congregations must also find ways to include and discuss ‘nontraditional’ images of motherhood on this day, i.e., teen mothers, women who have experienced miscarriages and women who have had abortions.”
Additionally, this Mother’s Day, we believe that it is high time that those men who give high praise to their own mothers step up and do (in words and deeds) the same for the mothers of their children in front of their children.
II. Views of Black Mothers
A haunting quote was used in the 2010 Anti-Domestic Violence Sunday cultural resource unit prepared by Reverend Darius Butler:
Quoting a passage from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Dwight Hopkins
writes, “Everybody in the world was in a position to give […black women] orders. White women said, ‘Do this.’ White children said, ‘Give me that.’
White men said, ‘Come here.’ Black men said, ‘Lay down.’ They…carried
a world on their heads.” Hopkins acknowledges an inherent vulnerability
(this is meant to be interpreted merely as description and not prescription)
in the social status of Black women and their children, by extension.
Patricia Collins, in the second edition of the classic Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment, says of Black motherhood:
Black motherhood as an institution is both dynamic and dialectical. Ongoing tensions characterize efforts to mold the institution to benefit intersecting oppressions of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation and efforts by African-American women to define and value our own experiences with motherhood. The controlling images of the mammy, the matriarch and the welfare mother and the practices they justify are designed to oppress… Some women view motherhood as a truly burdensome condition that stifles their creativity, exploits their labor and makes them partners in their own oppression. Others see motherhood as providing a base for self-actualization, status in the Black community, and a catalyst for social activism. These alleged contradictions can exist side-by-side in the African American community.2
These are two views of today’s Black mother and motherhood which is always evolving. There is no one archetypal Black mother or notion of motherhood. In order for all mothers to be allowed to bring forth their own honest understanding of motherhood, all their voices must be heard. Including those who are caught in the muck and mire of church and societally confusing contradictions that say things such as women are fragile. If so, why are Black women expected to work a job, do back-breaking house-work, rear children, and keep churches afloat through volunteer efforts? If “good mothers” are supposed to stay at home with their children, then why are U.S. Black women on public assistance forced to find jobs and leave their children in daycare?3 If the church does not do the work of providing a holistic liberating Gospel, these contradictions will confuse Black women, further lead to their being societally demeaned and perhaps cause them to inwardly demean themselves.
III. For What Is A Mother Responsible?
In 1845 Carolina Watchman wrote an article titled, “For What Is A Mother Responsible?” While Watchman, a White woman, likely did not have Black women in mind since Blacks had almost no rights in 1845, because American culture demanded that Black women imitate White women to gain respectability4 and because the article is still relevant for three reasons that shall be pointed out below, it is here reprinted.
A mother is usually also a wife, and has the management of a family and a direct influence over subordination to her head, has the seat of authority and wields the scepter of government. From a position of entire dependence, she has risen to power and rank, and though her throne may be in a cottage, and her dominion the little work of household affairs yet is she not the less really responsible, than is that youthful queen who now sways a scepter over the four quarters of the earth. But for what is she responsible?
She is responsible for the nursing and rearing of her progeny; for their physical constitution and growth; their exercise and proper sustenance in early life. A child left to grow up deformed, bloated, or meager, is an object of maternal negligence.
She is responsible for a child’s habits; including cleanliness, order, conversation, eating, sleeping, manners, and general propriety of behavior. A child deficient or untaught in these particulars, will prove a living monument of parental disregard; because generally speaking, a mother can, if she will, greatly control children in these matters.
She is responsible for their deportment. She can make them fearful and cringing, she can make them modest or impertinent, ingenious or deceitful; mean or manly; clownish or polite. The germ of all these things is in childhood, and a mother can repress or bring them forth.
She is responsible for the principles which her children entertain in early life. For her it is to say whether those who go forth, from her fireside, shall be imbued with sentiments of virtue, truth, honor, honesty, temperance, industry, benevolence, and morality, or those of a contrary character — vice, fraud, drunkenness, idleness, covetousness. These last will be found to the most natural growth; but on her is devolved the daily, hourly task of weeding her little garden — of eradicating these odious productions, and planting the human with the lily, the rose, and the amaranth, that fadeless flower, emblem of truth.
She is to a very considerable extent responsible for the temper and disposition of her children. Constitutionally they may be violent, irritable, or revengeful; but for regulation or correction of these passions a mother is responsible.
She is responsible for the intellectual acquirement of her children, that is, she is bound to do what she can for this object. Schools, academies, and colleges open their portals throughout our land; and every mother is under heavy responsibilities to see that her sons and daughters have all benefits which these afford and which circumstances permit them to enjoy.
She is responsible for their religious education. The beginning of all wisdom is the fear of God; and this every mother must teach. Reverence for God, acquaintance with His word, respect for the duties of ordinance of religion are within the ability of every parent to implant, and if children grow up ignorant or regardless of the Bible and the Saviour, what mother, when she considers the wickedness of the human heart, can expect them to rise up and call her blessed.5
Although this article was written in 1845, not much has changed in what is expected of mothers. Watchman wrote at a time when White women were expected to stay home and rear children. Of course, we know that Black women could not decide to do this for they have always had to work outside their homes. However, on top of their work, Black mothers were expected to act, in many respects, just as the mother about whom Watchman wrote since, in the 1800s and too often today, attributes that White men ascribed to motherhood were touted as the norm for all women.
What were these norms? There were at least three: first, women were told that they were important because through their mothering they could impact the world—“From a position of entire dependence, she has risen to power and rank, and though her throne may be in a cottage, and her dominion the little work of household affairs, yet is she not the less really responsible, than is that youthful queen who now sways a scepter over the four quarters of the earth.” This is summed up in the adage, “She who rocks the cradle rules the world.” The second norm is that whatever is wrong with a child, other than birth-defects or disease at birth, the mother is primarily responsible for it—from their weight (“physical constitution and growth”) to their habits (“cleanliness, orderliness, manners, and general propriety of behavior”) to their character (“virtues, truth, honor, industry, benevolence and morality”) to their intellectual achievements (“every mother is under heavy responsibilities to see that their sons and daughters have all benefits which these afford and which circumstances permit them to enjoy”). Third, a mother is responsible for the religious education of her children, whether they know the Word of God and reverence God.
III. How have these Norms Affected Black Mothers?
a. Rocking the Cradle that Rules the World
With few exceptions, Black mothers have the primary responsibility for rearing their children. So, if their children are to make a difference in the world, it is the mother who is expected to be a driving force in such achievement. This has created a social dilemma for Black women, especially poor Black women. First, they were mules as Hopkins said, “carrying the world on their heads.” Then, in a veiled but not sincere attempt at complimenting them, they were labeled “strong matriarchs also known as Moynihan’s Matriarchs;”6 they were the ones holding the Black family together. Any flattery attached to the term quickly dissipated as these matriarchs were accused of smothering and over-loving their sons, running off and emasculating their men, being domineering, and you know the rest of the list. Then, as their incomes decreased and their men disappeared, the next title applied was “welfare queens” for the scant governmental financial assistance they received to care for their children and for the amount of time they received such assistance. Not surprisingly this was not a term applied to White women who received welfare for long periods or even Asian and Latina women. The next and probably the term(s) still most in current usage is/are “teen mothers and unwed mothers.” Although women had been teen mothers for thousands of years, in the 1970s, after cultural and legal dictates shifted the age of maturity for women and men to eighteen, these labels were applied to young Black mothers. In passing, we must also note that Black women were not referred to as “unwed mothers” when they were impregnated by White slave owners to whom they were not married nor after they had children by Black men who were later sold or killed.
Clearly, the role of mothers is a social construction. In western society, the labels affixed in media, literature, and religion endure regardless of whether they are true or not. Black folk in America know this well as we continue to have to fight against stereotypes developed about us in the 1700s and 1800s. So, where does this leave Black mothers? What do they do when they are pervasively labeled and treated as mules, matriarchs (meant in its most unflattering sense), welfare queens and unwed mothers? How are these women to rock the cradle that rules the world when the world is working hard to nullify the efficacy of their work? As with all labels, the first thing to remember is something our mothers taught us—you do not have to answer to what people call you. Second, since mothers are what they try to do, this is what we as a community must lift about our mothers. If our mothers are those who try to love, encourage, inspire and nurture, this is what we must write about them and (especially those of us who write and create media) must furiously rise up against those who say otherwise in media. Third, we must advocate for the survival, strengthening, and salvation of those who cannot advocate for themselves. Advocate for equal pay for them; advocate for affordable educational opportunities for them; advocate for affordable child-care for them; advocate for safe communities for them; advocate for affordable health care for them; and advocate for uprisings by them. Such uprisings allow them to also become advocates for themselves, their children, and their communities. If properly paid, educated, healthy Black women rock the cradles that rule the world, the world will be in much more compassionate, competent and Christ-like hands.
b. When Everything is a Mother’s Fault
Having limited or no access to class and racial privilege constricts the range of options and resources available to minority mothers.7 This situation is worsened as fewer Black women are now getting assistance from family, friends and neighbors.8 “Informal maternal supports traditions are not immune to problems of urban decline.”9 Yes, there are Black grandmothers rearing children (often the parents of these children are on drugs or incarcerated) but there are also young grandmothers who were young parents who are not ready or willing to rear their children’s children. Less and less Black mothers can depend on shared housing, child care assistance, and financial support from a large network of kin.
With constricted options and resources, less support from kin, and often existing as single parents, where is a mother left who does not rear healthy, kind, educated, financially successful children? Where does the blame lie when these responsibilities are poorly carried out? The blame lies with the country, as mothers do not exist in a vacuum. In spite of the grand salutes to mothers each year in May, the United States, through its laws and economic policies continues to show that it does not support mothers. How do we know this? Women with children earn less.10 About one-third of Black American families live below the poverty line.11 “Throughout American history, mothers particularly unmarried mothers, have been at disproportionate risk of economic hardship.”12 So, given how laggard the United States has been in supporting mothers, especially Black mothers, it is more critical than ever that preachers, theologians, sociologists, psychologists, lawmakers and everyone who appreciates the work of mothers, place our money and support where some have also placed blame and or given inadequate attention.
Are there bad mothers? Of course. However, to understand what it takes to be a good mother in the post-modern twenty-first century requires a clear understanding of the complex ways in which social, economic, legal and religious policies have for centuries failed to support Black mothers. Second, it requires understanding and studying the fact that mothering takes place in a variety of unique circumstances; there is no one Black mother who speaks for all Black mothers in how she rears children, operates within the domain of a family and lives out her life in the public sphere. Any programs at the local or national level that are developed to assist Black mothers and the communities in which they reside must be grounded in the myriad experiences of Black mothers. Third, race, class, sexual orientation, economics, and the pool of men who can be husbands for Black women all matter when analyzing the lives of Black mothers.
c. The Role of the African American Church in Mothering
Waxman indicates that it is also the role of the mother to teach her children the Word of God and to reverence God. Since we know that churches also participate with mothers in the religious education of children, what is the nature of the church’s role since it has a major impact on the religious education Black children receive from their mothers?
The things to which the Black Church must attend to help Black mothers fall into three broad overlapping areas not here listed in any order of preference. They are:
- A coalition of support for Black mothers;
- The variedness of mothering and locations (urban, rural, poor, middle-class, etc.) of mothers; and
- The five minimum considerations before aiding Black mothers (race, class, economics, sexual orientation, role and availability of spousal/relationship partners).
We’ll briefly address each while discussing concrete measures that can be taken by historically African American churches to address each area and support African American mothers.
In its role of educating Black mothers, what the Black church often fails to understand and address is the fact that within each local community and at state levels programs and funding decisions that directly affect Black mothers are being made without the participation of the church. The Black Church too often leaves such work to politicians, women’s rights advocates, children’s rights advocates and the social work and medical community.
(1) A coalition of support - We all know that Black mothers are at the bottom of almost all societal support totem poles for mothers. So, what one program or initiative can your church develop to bring about a coalition of support for Black mothers? You can start small but do start. Likely partners that it would be easy to bring to the table are: teen mothers in your church, middle-aged women in your church, working mothers in your church, grandmothers in your church, social service partners in your community, and advocacy groups who work in a variety of capacities with African American women.
(2) The varied experiences of mothers and their locations - The African American Church and society at large must hear from women of their varied experiences as mothers. Instead of continuing to determine what we believe these experiences are now, these women must be given space and opportunity to speak for themselves about their dreams, fears, needs, and circumstances. Practically, instead of just another Bible Study class or Sabbath Day/Sunday School class, why not have opportunities for women to simply speak of their experiences?
Also, relative to location, special efforts are needed to understand the difference that demographics (class, age, and social location) make to the lives of African American mothers. The mothering experience of a poor teen who lives in a rural community is vastly different, and yet in some ways similar, to those of a middle-age married mother who lives in Chicago. The experiences of an employed grandmother who lives in a suburban city in the south are yet different still, but she also shares similarities with, the teen mother and the middle-age mother relative to being a Black mother. In sermonizing, theologizing, and practically strategizing, location must be taken into account by preachers doing twenty-first century ministry with Black mothers.
(3) The five minimum considerations - Even those who support African American mothers and want to develop programs and strategies to help them be as effective, fulfilled and complete as they can be as women and mothers, fail to consider that there are practical considerations that must be recognized to avoid paralysis of analysis, use of a flea to kill a tiger, and perfunctory empty gestures that are filled with much sound and fury but at the end of the day signify no change for the plight of African American mothers.
As this cultural resource unit has attempted to point out, race always matters when working with African American mothers. It is a historical and modern variable that no preacher or others working with African American mothers can afford to ignore. Second, class also matters. Some now believe that class even more than race is the most pervasive social/structural factor that must be considered when designing laws and policies related to African American mothers. Data does not show this; but it as clear that class is important. It matters if one sees themselves as low-class, middle-class, upper middle-class, etc. It also matters for those who design policies of all types. Clearly, certain types of policies are designed by White lawmakers if they begin with the premise that they are out to help “low-class” women.
Of course economics matter. In fact, given the number of African American mothers who live in poverty and the yet to be determined impact of globalization and sharply fluctuating economic markets on employment and education trends in the United States for the next twenty-five to fifty years, how women mother may primarily be a matter of their economic situatedness. Churches need to understand these economic realities. How often have we heard preachers rail against children rearing themselves, the home no longer being the place where children are being taught basic values, and some even rail against dead-beat dads and extol the virtues of Black mothers? However, many of the same Black preachers who preach these messages expect the mothers in their churches to also be employed. These preachers at least understand the historic and current economic condition of Black families. However, all too often pulpit rhetoric seeks to minimize the impact of paid work on the time and energy that women have left to rear children and serve as family caregivers. This is a subtle way of goading women into believing that they are “supposed to,” paraphrasing an old commercial, “bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, rear well-behaved children, and never let their husband (if they have one) forget he’s a man.” Oh, and lest we forget, after Black women do all of this, they are supposed to keep churches afloat since they serve as the main economic and labor engine of all churches. One wonders the impact of such continued economically burdensome sermonizing and theologizing that essentially ask African American mothers to continue to “carry the world on their heads.” Is this the Word of God that we want women to reverence and to teach their children?
Next, although there is little to no discussion of it in African American churches, lesbian women are mothering children and these women do attend and work in and contribute to churches. Not having the conversation or having men dominate the conversation, or just having those who understand the world in terms of heterosexual marriages and families will not alter the reality.
Also, importantly, straight talk and practical programs about the lack of available Black men of marriage age who are interested in marrying Black women must be had. We’ve all read the books and papers and obtained from other media the figures regarding African American men who are imprisoned and the number who are unemployed and unemployable and those who are marriageable; economist William Julius Wilson coupled these types and coined the phrase “the male marriageable pool index.”13 In spite of the vast number of African American men between ages 21-49 who have disappeared, what we have not seen are practical steps taken by large numbers of African American churches to wrestle with what is surely one of the greatest crisis facing the African American community! White politicians, social scientists, economists, social-welfare analysts, and academicians cannot have the impact that the African American Church and community can have in tackling this issue. No, it is not reasonable to expect that White institutions and policy makers will be left out of the conversation. However, they cannot be allowed to drive the conversation. This is in large part how we have arrived at disproportionate unfair prison sentencing of Black men, the doing away with of rehabilitation initiatives for Black males, dismal graduation rates for Black boys, abysmal answers to high unemployment of Black men and mediocre health initiatives for Black men.
This effort on behalf of helping Black mothers is one of the most significant that the Black Church can and must take. Today, churches can begin to dialogue with those churches and other institutions that are making strides to keep Black boys and, by extension Black men, from disappearing. This is the Gospel that Black mothers need and need to pass on to their children.
IV. Songs for Mother’s Day
There are numerous songs that give tribute to mothers. Shirley Caesar’s, “I Remember Mama” or her “Every Day Is Like Mother’s Day,” or “Mothers are Special” as sung by the Chicago Mass Choir, and the popular “Mama,” by Candi Staton are but a few. Two songs in particular that sum up the idealized and real work that mothers do are “When You Come Home” by Charles Schultz and, with living and deceased mothers in mind,
“Mama/I thought You’d Like to Know” by Candi Staton. The lyrics for the last two are offered below.
When You Come Home
My first day of recess
They all laughed at me
When I fell off the swing set
And scraped up my knee
The nurse called my Momma
To say I'd be late,
And when she gave me the phone
I could hear Momma say
"I'm so sorry, son.
Oh I think you're' so brave"
And she was smilin’ when she said:
When you come home,
No matter how far,
Run through the door
And into my arms
It's where you are loved,
It's where you belong
And I will be here
When you come home
I waved good-bye through the window
As I boarded the plane,
My first job in Houston
Was waiting for me
I found a letter from Momma
Tucked in my coat
And as I flew down the runway
I smiled when she wrote:
I'll miss you, son,
You'll be so far away
But I'll be waiting for the day
When you come home
No matter how far,
Run through the door
And into my arms
It's where you are loved,
It's where you belong,
And I will be here
When you come home
Well, I don't think
She can hear you now,
The doctor told me
Your mother is fading,
It's best that you leave
So I whispered,
I love you
And then turned away.
But I stopped at the door
When I heard Momma say,
I love you, son,
But they're callin’ me away
Promise me before I go
When you come home,
No matter how far,
Run through the door
And into my arms;
It's where you are loved,
It's where you belong,
And I will be here
When you come home,
When you come home.14
Mama/I Thought You'd Like To Know
Mama I thought you'd like to know
all those nights you paced the floor
praying that I would make it home alright,
believing in God that He would someday save my soul
well He did, just thought you'd like to know.
Then I thought you'd like to know
all those prayers you prayed for me,
never a-one fell to the ground, I know
sometimes it looked like I was a million miles from Grace
but He answered your prayers, just thought you'd like to know.
Oh Momma I want you to know I love you,
please forgive me for all the times I broke your heart
every tear you cried for me, drew me closer to being free,
And I want to thank you,
Just thought you'd like to know.
Then I thought you'd like to Know
that I wish I could live my life again,
if I could, I would surely make amends,
And if I could help my Brother, a new life to discover, Oh I would,
just thought you'd like to know.
V. Poems for Mother’s Day
Howard Johnson’s poem titled “M-o-t-h-e-r,” written in 1915 has become a staple on cards, in school presentations and church bulletins. This brief and rhetorically simple poem, still offers great truths. The poem, “Mother’s Love,” whose author is unknown, is an offering that, through short verse, attempts to sum up the multitudinous efforts of mothers.
"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell
A word that means the world to me.16
Her love is like
an island in life's ocean,
vast and wide
A peaceful, quiet shelter
From the wind, the rain, the tide.
'Tis bound on the north by Hope,
By Patience on the West,
By tender counsel on the South
And on the East by rest.
Above it like a beacon light
Shine Faith, and Truth, and Prayer;
And thro' the changing scenes of life
I find a haven there.17
VI. Mother’s Day Humor, Wit and Wisdom
The following material was obtained from websites. Names of contributors could not be located after substantial efforts. If you are aware of the authors of this material, please let us know at info@firstname.lastname@example.org. This material may be used on church bulletins and or placed on screens at various times during worship services.
A Mother’s Dictionary
Rich: The person who bottles the formula to get kids to do chores without being told repeatedly.
Feedback: The inevitable result when the baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.
Full Name: What you call your child when you're mad at her or him.
Grandparents: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not rearing them right.
Independent: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.
Puddle: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.
Show Off: A child who is more talented than yours.
Sterilize: What you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling it, and to your last baby's pacifier by blowing on it and wiping it with saliva.
Whodunit: None of the kids that live in your house.
Mother’s Day Thoughts and Quotes
- The advice your daughter rejected is now being given by her to your granddaughter .
- Parents often talk about the younger generations as if they didn't have anything to do with it.
- Mothers who fail to care for themselves are doing a poor job of caring for others.
- While all women can honor mothers not all women are mothers and not all women desire to do mothering; but they do appreciate mothers.
Things Your Mother Would NEVER Say
- “How on earth can you see the TV sitting so far back? Move closer."
- "Yeah, I used to skip school a lot, too. That bodes well for your future."
- "Just leave all the lights on ... it makes the house brighter and you know we’re rich."
- "Let me smell that shirt -- Yeah, it's good for another week."
- "Go ahead and keep that stray dog. I'll be glad to feed and walk her every day."
- "That curfew I set is just a general time to shoot for. Whatever you think best works for me."
- “I don't have a tissue with me ... just use your sleeve."
- "Don't bother wearing a jacket - the wind-chill is bound to improve.”
- “Of course you can play video games all day. That will make you smarter.”
- “I keep telling you to clean your room because I’m studying to be a talking parrot.”
1. Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York, NY: Washington Square Press, 1970, pp. 109-110, quoted in Dwight N. Hopkins. Shoes That Fit Our Feet: Sources for a Constructive Black Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993. p. 52.
2. Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. 10th Anniversary Edition. New York, NY: Routledge, 2000. p. 176.
3. Ibid., p. 11.
4. To gain a thorough understanding of the many ways and reasons that much of American culture demanded that Black women imitate White women to gain respectability, see Saxon, Martha. Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America. New York, NY: Hill and Wang, 2003 especially pages 151-131 and 268-298; and the important book by Jacqueline Jones, Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family, from Slavery to the Present. Philadelphia, PA: Basic Books, 2nd edition, 2009.
5. Watchman, Carolina. “For What Is a Mother Responsible?” Mother’s Journal. (1845)
6. In the Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Vol. 18 Issue 4, pp. 405-428, in an article titled “Marriage Promotion and Missing Men: African American Women in a Demographic Double Bind,” SD Lane, RH Keefe, RA Rubenstein, B.A. Levandowski, M. Freedman M, A. Rosenthal, DA Cibula and M. Czerwinski write, “Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report, The Negro Family: The Case for Action, identified ‘the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society’ as being caused by a break-down in family structure. Moynihan’s evidence for this ‘fundamental cause of weakness’ was a rise in female-headed households, which, at that time, comprised about one-fourth of all African American households. Moynihan linked female-headed African American households with the increase in welfare dependency. An infamous section in the report titled, ‘The Tangle of Pathology,’ diagnosed ‘a matriarchal family’ as a root cause of African American disadvantage, which was viewed by many as racist [and sexist] led to the widespread discrediting of the report.”
7. Arendell, Terry. “Conceiving and Investigating Motherhood: The Decade’s Scholarship.” Journal of Marriage and Family 62.4 (Nov. 2000): 1195.
8. Ibid, p. 1198. Also see, McDonald, Katrina Bell and Elizabeth M. Armstrong. “De-Romanticizing Black-Intergenerational Support: The Questionable Expectations of Welfare Reform.” Journal of Marriage and Family 63.1 (Feb. 2001): 213-223; M. Benin, & V.M. Keith. “The Social Support of Employed African American and Anglo Mothers.” Journal of Family Issues 16 (1995): 275-297; and E.B. Kaplan. Not our Kind of Girl: Unraveling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood. Berkeley, CA: University of Illinois Press, 1997.
9. “When You Come Home.” By Mark Schultz
10. Waldfogel, Jane. “The Effect of Children on Women’s Wages.” American Sociological Review 62.2 (Apr. 1997): 209-217.
11. Collins, Patricia Hills. “Getting Off to a Good Start: The First Class in Black Family Studies.” Teaching Sociology 14.3 (Jul. 1986): 193-195.
12. Boris, E. Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the United States. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1994; Gordon, L. “Family Violence, Feminism, and Social Control.” Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions. 2d Ed. Eds. B. Thorme and M. Yalom. Boston: Northwestern University Press, 1993. pp. 262-286; and, Gordon, L. Pitied but Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare, 1890-1935. New York, NY: Maxwell Mamillan International, 1994.
13. Wilson, William Julius. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.
14. “When You Come Home.” By Charles Schultz
15. “Mama/I Thought You’d Like to Know.” By Candi Staton
16. “Mother.” by Howard Johnson
17. “Mother’s Love.” Author unknown.