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|Author/Editor:||Nash, Jennifer C
|Publisher:||Duke University Press
STREET DATE: August 20, 2021
In Birthing Black Mothers Black feminist theorist Jennifer C. Nash examines how the figure of the "Black mother" has become a powerful political category. "Mothering while Black" has become synonymous with crisis as well as a site of cultural interest, empathy, fascination, and support. Cast as suffering and traumatized by their proximity to Black death--especially through medical racism and state-sanctioned police violence--Black mothers are often rendered into one-dimensional symbols of tragic heroism.
In contrast, Nash examines Black mothers' self-representations and public performances of motherhood--including Black doulas and breastfeeding advocates alongside celebrities like Beyoncé, Serena Williams, and Michelle Obama--that are not rooted in loss. Through cultural critique and in-depth interviews, Nash acknowledges the complexities of Black motherhood outside its use as political currency. Throughout, Nash imagines a Black feminist project that refuses the lure of locating the precarity of Black life in women and instead invites readers to theorize, organize, and dream new modes of Black motherhood.