Cover image for Black mothers : songs of praise and celebration
Title:
Black mothers : songs of praise and celebration
Author:
Taylor, Kristin Clark.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday, 2000.
Physical Description:
224 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 21 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385495790
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HQ759 .T39 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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East Delavan Branch Library HQ759 .T39 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Parenting
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Frank E. Merriweather Library HQ759 .T39 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

FormerUSA Todaycolumnist Kristin Clark Taylor has put together a love song to African American mothers. As she writes in the Introduction: "to any mother who ever kissed a scraped knee; broke up a playground fight; spent part of the rent money on a pair of badly needed Buster Browns; preserved a memory; instilled in her young one an everlasting image of racial pride; or encouraged in her child imaginative, courageous thinking...To black mothers everywhere who guided our feet and showered us with an unconditional love that has sustained our spirit, enriched our lives, opened our hearts and kept us strong. To the heroic black mothers who have withstood pain and indignity, suffering and sacrifice--all for the good of their children--this book praises your existence and your memory." In nine finely hewn chapters filled with quotes, poems, and vintage photographs, the black mother is seen in her many roles: "Giver of Life," "Spiritual Anchor," "Disciplinarian," "Wise Teacher," "Provider and Comforter," "Image of Beauty," "Loving Surrogate," and finally "Keeper of the Flame." An elegant gift book that will be treasured by all who receive it,Black Mothersis a visually and emotionally uplifting celebration of African American motherhood. preserved a memory; instilled in her young one an everlasting image of racial pride; or encouraged in her child imaginative, courageous thinking.--To black mothers everywhere who guided our feet and showered us with an unconditional love that has sustained our spirit, enriched our lives, opened our hearts, and kept us strong. To the heroic black mothers who have withstood pain and indignity, suffering and sacrifice--all for the good of their children--this book praises your existence and your memory." --Kristin Clark Taylor, from the Introduction Kristin Clark Taylor offers heartfelt reflections on black motherhood in an accessible and highly personalized style. In nine finely hewn chapters filled with quotes, poems, and vintage photographs, the black mother is seen in her many roles: "Giver of Life," "Spiritual Anchor," "Disciplinarian," "Wise Teacher," "Provider and Comforter," "Image of Beauty," "Loving Surrogate," "Climber of an Uphill Battle," and finally "Keeper of the Flame." An elegant gift book that will be treasured by all who receive it, BLACK MOTHERS is a visually and emotionally uplifting celebration of African-American motherhood. -->


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Taylor, a former USA Today editor, White House secretary and speechwriter, corporate communications officer, and vice-president of external affairs, has written her second book. This book "celebrates and glorifies black mothers everywhere." The 10 inspiring chapters on motherhood cover the gamut from their roles as givers of life, spiritual anchors, protectors, comforters and friends, teachers, surrogates, and disciplinarians to keepers of the flame. The chapters are complete with Bible verses, quotes from famous African Americans, poems, and revelations from friends. In the spirit of the book Sisters (1994), these "songs" live up to Taylor's introduction because they celebrate black motherhood in a way that all women can treasure. --Lillian Lewis


Excerpts

Excerpts

Giver of Life And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply. --Genesis 1:22 At every child's birth, a mother is born. As a mother, I have twice been "reborn." Each time, the process was nothing short of miraculous. My mother, Mary Elizabeth Clark, was still alive while I was pregnant with my firstborn son, Lonnie Paul. We'd sit in the late afternoon sun together, talking about the miracle of life and babies. She would tell me about her own experiences bringing seven children into the world; how I was colicky when I was born; how rubbing cod liver oil under my sister's chin when she was three days old helped cure her cold. Her stories, to me, were shining golden nuggets of wisdom, which I gobbled hungrily. I listened intently when she spoke; I wanted to absorb her every word. Ironically, as I was methodically preparing for the arrival of new life, I should have also been preparing for the suddenness of death: Mother died six months after Lonnie Paul was born. Initially, I saw her death--particularly as it related to my infant son and my new role as mother--as a cruel, bitter twist of fate: God was trying to teach me that life and death are inextricably, intertwined. I began to realize that God was right; life and death are intertwined--and in that knowledge there was no longer pain, but beauty and comfort. With the birth of my son and the death of my mother--dramatic, life-changing events that occurred in such rapid sequence--I came to understand and appreciate that I had been made part of the cyclical, universal motion of motherhood. I had been made part of the miracle of life. When my daughter, Mary Elizabeth, was born two years later, Mother wasn't there with me, standing at the kitchen sink, showing me how to give her a bath. She wasn't there to whisper gentle words of guidance and comfort as I struggled with our newborn daughter. But God is good that way: He'd already allowed me to fully absorb the life lessons that Mother taught me before she left. And over time, He'd placed within me the everlasting knowledge that motherhood and the concept of mothering never really stops. It lasts forever, even if we do not. Black mothers leave a legacy of strength and sustenance for their children. It is part of who we are, and who our foremothers were. If we listen very closely, we can still hear their words of wisdom, and in listening, comes learning. We can learn to be good mothers. We can learn to nurture our newborn or yet-unborn babies. And because we want to be as strong for our children as our mothers were for us, we can learn, over time, to sway gracefully with the universal motions of motherhood. The rhythm within us is intrinsic. --KRISTIN To my Precious Little One: Never had I imagined that I'd question my judgment in my decision to venture into motherhood. I have long known that this was one of life's greatest joys that I wouldn't allow myself to miss. But because my impending role of mother has preceded my role as wife, I've been forced to ask myself, "Am I the proverbial unwed black mother?" Never mind that I'm all grown up and have earned a respectable place in society, complete with a career, real estate and a loving man in my corner. Are others watching my growing belly and thinking "what else is new?" I share this with you only because you, too, will have cause to question your judgment many times in your life. And sometimes it will be merely because of the color of your skin and all the perceptions that brings. But even as I teach you to say "please" and "thank you" and all the other lessons of childhood, I'll teach you to have strength and conviction in all that you do; to know from within why you've chosen your path and to trust your motivations implicitly. Then, when you're inevitably labeled by those who know no better, you will not love or believe in yourself any less! Mommy, with all my love and admiration. --CELESTE A. JAMES, in a letter written to her unborn child THE MOTHER'S BLESSING Hope and joy, peace and blessing, Met me in my first-born child. --FRANCES WATKINS HARPER, a founding member of the NAACP A baby is someone just the size of a hug. --ANONYMOUS When I was most sorely oppressed I found solace in his smile. I loved to watch his infant slumbers; but . . . I could never forget that he was a slave. Sometimes I wished that he might die in infancy. God tried me. My darling became very ill. I had prayed for his death, but never so earnestly as now I prayed for his life; and my prayer was heard. Alas what a mockery it is for a slave mother to try to pray back her dying child to life! Death is better than slavery. --HARRIET JACOBS, slave The woman about to become a mother, or with her newborn infant upon her bosom, should be the object of trembling care and sympathy wherever she bears her tender burden or stretches her aching limbs . . . God forbid that any member of the profession to which she trusts her life, doubly precious at that eventful period, should hazard it negligently, unadvisedly or selfishly. --OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonder fully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul  knoweth right well. --PSALMS 139:13-14 . . . Wife and child, Those precious motives, those strong knots of love. --WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. --LUKE 1:42 This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving birth and are more certain that they are their own. --ARISTOTLE O God, guide my hands in the delivery of this child. Steady my nerves and focus my mind, sharpen my instincts as I help bring this child into the world. Ease the pain and fear of the mother and the anxiety of the father with anticipation and joy in springing forth new life. --MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN I hope that people appreciate their mothers. And I also hope that a lot of the young, black girls who become mothers recognize the magnitude and importance of the job that they have. People need to realize--young women in particular--that parenting skills are developed over the course of a lifetime. And it takes at least that long to raise a child correctly. --BENJAMIN CARSON, M.D.  Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery,  Johns Hopkins Hospital Excerpted from Black Mothers: Songs of Praise and Celebration by Kristin Clark Taylor All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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