SOCIAL SCIENCES

We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood

Bold Type. Apr. 2019. 272p. notes. ISBN 9781568588544. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781568588551. SOC SCI
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Contributing Nation writer McClain maintains that parenting is political. Her debut is an informative take on the political and social responsibilities of African American parents in the era of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter. The author states that black motherhood is fraught with obstacles that go outside the scope of "typical" parental worries. For example, teaching African American children about authority must include how to cope or question racial bias from teachers and police officers. While McClain makes a solid argument and provides statistics, her work is strongest when it focuses on people outside McClain's social and familial circle; namely educators, parents, and activists who work to change the disparities among different racial groups. The author's focus on her daughter and the maze of issues relevant to her family can be disconcerting, if not depressing. But McClain has hope and throughout the narrative opens the door for further conversation about how parenting styles need to change for children of the early 21st century.
VERDICT An admirable exploration of race and motherhood that should be read by people of all races, with or without children.

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