LITERATURE

Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America

Sourcebooks. Sept. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9781492679011. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781492679028. MEMOIR
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Austin, a single black mother of two adopted black children, begins her debut memoir with a lesson. One night, she changes up her son August’s routine of play, reading, and bath time to attend a Black Lives Matter rally in Beverly Hills. For the author, it’s a gathering of like-minded people to vent their frustrations and show solidarity. For her son, it’s an education in social mores: he is black and male and will be seen by others as a threat or nuisance; he is also at risk of harsh treatment by law enforcement or society in general. Therefore, Austin uses the rally as a survival lesson in navigating the world. These issues, along with many others like them, are why the author wrote this eye-opening, trenchant book, which helps to bolster the scant literature for African American adoptive parents that Austin has pioneered by blogging for publications such as MUTHA magazine and the Huffington Post.
VERDICT Austin’s experiences, both positive and negative, are recounted in this fast-paced, heartwarming memoir of motherhood and adoption told through an African American lens. ­Essential for all libraries.

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