All posts filed under: The Othered Mother

No Common Threads | Elizabeth Hornsby

Very often in my academic work, I am asked to look at some objects or events and try to find a common thread that can be generalized. Scientific methods use objectivity and generalizability to deem work as valid and truthful. And while this type of work does serve a purpose, it can overlook or discard the nuance of individual experience. As I continue this exploration of othered mothers, it can be easy to listen to stories with the sole purpose of finding a common thread. But what gets lost is the beauty of difference and what those differences can illuminate about the many facets of mothering. I recently asked several mothers of color four questions about their mothering experiences. Their responses are here in their most pure form, not trying to make a connection, but to display their uniqueness. Endia, mother of one How would you describe your experience of becoming a mother? I became a mother a very young age. I got pregnant my tenth grade year in high school. Although everything was new …

The Othered Mother | Elizabeth Hornsby

She sits quietly in the back of the car, looking out the windows, trying to hold back the tears. “What’s wrong?” her mother asks. “Nothing,” she mumbles wishing the car seats would consume her and erase the events of the day. As the car pulls into the driveway, her mother lingers as the other family members file out of the car and into the house. “Ok,” her mother starts, “everyone is gone now, what’s wrong?” “Nothing,” she says, lips trembling, eyes shining with unshed tears. “Honey,” her mother starts. “Someone called me a colored girl today,” she blurts out, almost like the words stung leaving her lips. Her mother pauses and fully turns to face her. Several emotions pass over her mother’s face: anger, fear, frustration, pain. They simply sit in silence, staring out the window at the grey February day. Finally, her mother moves to smooth her hair and lovingly caress her face. “You are beautiful.” I often reflect on that moment as it was such a turning point for me. My first experience …