Is Feminism for Black Mothers, Too?

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[Editor's Note: Last week, the New York Times invited mothers of various ages and background to chime in on motherhood, feminism and attachment parenting. BlogHer LaShaun Williams was one of those who responded, with a provocative statement that mainstream feminism has not only ignored black women, but short-changed the role of motherhood. Here's part of LaShaun's follow up on her blog The L factor. --Grace]

The glaring contrasts between the historical experiences of black and white women are often overlooked when discussions of feminism arise. And, since black women have been conditioned to work and “overcome,” repressed bitterness is much of the reason they jump on board with white feminists—when, in reality, the very social constructs white women fought against, many black women view as almost unattainable luxuries.

Consequently, not working outside of the home is perceived as unconventional. Like women of the 1960s and 1970s, today’s black stay-at-home mothers tend to see themselves as barrier breakers and trendsetters. Understanding that no one is better equipped to impart knowledge, wisdom and values into our children, we regard the decision to leave the workplace for full-time motherhood as an investment—an investment worth monetary sacrifice and career opportunity costs.

Image Credit: Steve Snodgrass, flickr

Read more from More Room for Debate: How black and white is feminism? at LaShaun Williams

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