Kimberly Seals Allers: I couldn't believe the responses that rolled in after my first post last week discussing how Black mothers are very often missing from the mainstream mommy conversation in this country. Some comments made me wonder if everyone actually read the entire story. Hmmm. Ironically, the same day my blog posted, I was actually in Washington, D.C. attending a symposium on Transforming Maternity Care hosted by a national non-profit called Childbirth Connection. There were more than 200 doctors, practitioners, childbirth educators, midwives, activists and other leaders convened to discuss how we can change maternity care and birth outcomes in this nation.
At the conference at Georgetown University, the thought leaders, decision makers and other key participants brought in to debate the future of maternity care (who were 99% white) unanimously and openly agreed that the mommy movement lacks diversity. Every participant who stepped up to the microphone to ask the group how we can include more African American and Latina women in the national face and voice of mother issues was met with resounding applause. Some attendees even criticized the organizers for not having enough professionals of color leading the sessions at the conference.
My point is that it is not divisive rhetoric to say that black mothers are not in the leadership of the mom movement. It is the truth. It is not a secret that black women have been stereotyped in the media. And it is not sparking a racial agenda to simply state what is so. Truth is the starting point for change. And I applaud all those at the Childbirth Connection symposium for acknowledging this void and speaking openly about what we can do about it. I would only ask all mothers and readers here to do the same.
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|