I’m slowly working my way through Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines, a collection of essays and poetry by radical mothers–mostly women of color and queer women. It’s a book in the tradition of This Bridge Called My Back–some of the essays are academic and some are personal. There’s so much to think about in these pages. I’ve been savoring all the varied voices, and the many complicated ways these writers define, act, and experience motherhood.
I’ve been thinking about this passage from an essay by one of the anthology’s editors for the past week:
“MotherING is another matter, a possible action, the name for that nurturing work, that survival dance, worked by enslaved women who were forced to breastfeed the children of the status mothers while having no control over whether their birth or chosen children were sold away. Mothering is a form of labor worked by immigrant nannies like my grandmother who mothered wealthy white kids in order to send money to Jamaica for my mother and her brothers who could not afford the privilege of her presence. Mothering is worked by chosen and accidental mentors who agree to support some growing unpredictable thing called future. Mothering is worked by house mothers in ball culture who proved dosages of self-love and expression for/as queer youth of color in the street. What would it mean for us to take the word “mother” less as a gendered identity and more as a possible action, a technology of transformation that those people who do the most mothering labor are teaching us right now?”
–Alexis Pauline Gumbs, “m/other ourselves: a Black queer feminist genealogy for radical mothering”
Additionally, some recent non-book fuel: