Mother’s Day is just around the corner. To celebrate, we want to honour 5 amazing Black moms who are using their platforms to spread motherly love. The mothers we’ve chosen are exceptional in raising their children. They teach their children lessons of strength and determination through demonstrations and declarations of love. These beautiful mothers not only aim to support other mothers through the work that they do, but they also commit their lives to encourage young people around the world.
1. Ayesha Curry
Ayesha Curry is most commonly known for her passion and talent for cooking. However, Curry has made a name for herself dabbling in and around other culinary-focused endeavours. She’s the host and executive producer of the forthcoming ABC TV series Family Food Fight, and the originator of kitchenware and bedding lines. She is also the creator and head chef of various new restaurants, has an upcoming line of baby food, and an ambassador for CoverGirl. These are just a few of her projects.
Curry is also a dedicated mother who instills values of Christianity, creativity, integrity, and respect into her 7-year-old and 4-year-old daughters, Riley and Ryan, and her 1-year-old son, Canon. The proud mother of 3 is a champion for the importance of family. Her brand is all about family. She describes her children as her inspiration, stating that:
“…if you have a passion and you’re not going for it, I think you’re doing your children an injustice… It’s important to show them there are no bounds. You can be a soft, unassuming mother and also a power businesswoman.”Ayesha Curry, 2019 interview with The Oprah Magazine
Curry lives her life with grace, determination and transparency. She practices the values that she hopes her children will grow to have. She not only inspires her family, but she also inspires the world by encouraging people to go after their dreams despite the difficulties they may face.
2. Lauryn Hill
When many people hear the name “Lauryn Hill,” they think of 1/3 of the 90’s hip-hop group “Fugees”. Others think of her as the talented and record-breaking artist who became the first woman to win 5 Grammys in one evening. Not many people think of motherhood or love when they hear the name “Lauryn Hill”. Despite this perception, she is a champion of Black motherhood and has used her platform to be open about the topic.
In 1998, Hill released “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill”. On this album, Hill featured the song “To Zion,” which essentially serves as a love letter to her first son, Zion David Marley. In the song, Hill talks about the uncertainty of having her baby, but later expresses the joy that has come from giving birth to Zion. In her lyrics, Hill also addresses the fact that she received pressure to terminate the baby, yet she continued with her pregnancy.
Before “To Zion” was released, not many artists, especially Black artists, displayed motherhood with such transparency, love, or emotion.
Hill was the first woman to do so. Her honesty was met with criticism, yet she released the song, making herself a heroine for Black motherhood. On her website, Hill said this about “To Zion”:
The song To Zion gave encouragement to women during challenging pregnancies. There are children who were given a chance at life because their Mothers experienced moral and emotional support through this song.Lauryn Hill
Hill chose her family and children over her career and the legacy that she was building. Since the birth of Zion, Hill has had 5 more children. She has been supportive and instrumental in the raising of all of her children. She has opted to live a private life; however, it is safe to say that the love she felt her son on “To Zion” is still present in her heart today.
3. Serena Williams
Serena Williams is just as much of a champion in motherhood as she is on the court. We went into depth about Serena’s journey with motherhood here, but we love her so much that we want to honour her twice.
Williams has been open about motherhood from the beginning of her journey when it was announced that she had nearly died after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia. She revealed that her near-death experience opened her eyes to her privilege to accessible health care as a Black woman. In her letter to CNN, Willam called for more resources to be given to expecting mothers and newborns around the world.
This is just the first parenting-related cause that Williams has been vocal about since giving birth to her now 2-year-old. Williams wrote an essay in 2019 telling working mothers to stop aiming for perfection. She has also been extremely sincere about her experiences with motherhood, stating she gets a little too hard on herself sometimes.
Williams is a modern-day Superwoman. She constantly places her daughter’s needs ahead of her own and is extremely proud of being a mom. Her openness about her insecurities makes her relatable, which eases the minds of mothers everywhere who are just trying to figure things out.
All hail the Queen! When it comes to Beyoncé’s capabilities as an entertainer, it is pretty much decided that she is one of the best that ever lived. She is an entrepreneur, singer, songwriter, producer, rapper, dancer, and actress. Her accomplishments are three times longer than people who have been in the game twice as long as she has, which is enough to silence the haters in and of itself.
Over the years, Beyoncé has proved herself to be just as amazing a mother as she is at basically everything else. Mother to 8-year-old Blue Ivy, and 2-year-old twins, Rumi and Sir, Beyoncé has been honest with the world about the trials, tribulations, joys, and rewards of motherhood. In December 2019, Beyoncé sat down with Elle to discuss her career, love, and life. During this interview, she revealed her experiences with miscarriages. She stated:
“Having miscarriages taught me that I had to mother myself before I could be a mother to someone else”Beyonce 2019, interview with Elle
This portion of the interview connected with mother’s around the world who were going through similar experiences. Using her story as an example, Beyoncé reminded mothers around the world to care for themselves and to find their purpose in life.
Usually a reserved person, Beyoncé has been nothing but outspoken about her love for her children.
Through her music, she has shared her love for her children in the world. On The Gift, her 2019 soundtrack album for The Lion King, Beyoncé used her family and her experiences of motherhood as inspiration for her art. “Bigger” not only serves as an ode to Blackness, but it also serves as a love letter to her children. Through the lyrics, Beyoncé tells her children that they are powerful and important and that her love for them is unconditional.
In a world that tends to be critical, Beyoncé encourages her children, and her young fans, to be bold, strong, and unapologetically you.
Beyoncé also supports her children’s creative efforts. Her eldest daughter, Blue Ivy, is featured in the music videos for “Spirit” and “Bigger,” the lead singles for The Gift. Blue also has her very own song on The Gift entitled “Brown Skin Girl”. She was credited as a songwriter and also contributed vocals to the track. This is not the first time that Blue has collaborated with her mother. The 8-year-old has been featured on a handful of her mother’s projects since birth, including the “Formation” music video and the Mi Gente (Remix) with J Balvin and Willy William.
5. Michelle Obama
There is something about Michelle Obama’s bright smile, graceful demeanour, and easy-going charm that places her in the position of America’s motherly figure. Like many mothers, the former FLOTUS has instilled us with many nuggets of wisdom over the years. She has told us to eat our vegetables, exercise, get an education, and most importantly, love ourselves even in adversity.
Since leaving the White House, Obama has opened up about a lot of things. Her memoir, Becoming, has left the former First Lady completely transparent. Becoming shares the story of who Obama is. It talks of her childhood, her journey into adulthood, her years in the White House, and of course motherhood. If you haven’t read Becoming yet, we won’t spoil it for you, but we will say that Obama translates her feelings with wit, refinement, and honesty. She illustrates what it is like to be a mother when essentially your duty is to be the mother of an entire country. All in all, Becoming inspires readers, especially women, to find your purpose and pursue your dreams.
In 2019, Michelle Obama sat down with Meghan Markle (who is another incredible Black mother) in an interview for British Vogue.
In this interview, Obama and Markle spoke about a lot about motherhood. Not only did Obama provided a lot of insight regarding the challenges and rewards of motherhood, but she also gave us a peek into her parenting style. Like her platform in the White House, Obama encourages her daughters to go after their dreams, learn from life, and keep trying even when you fail. In her interview with Markle, Obama also provides a strong piece of advice for all mothers:
Motherhood has taught me that, most of the time, my job is to give them the space to explore and develop into the people they want to be. Not who I want them to be or who I wish I was at that age, but who they are, deep inside. Motherhood has also taught me that my job is not to bulldoze a path for them in an effort to eliminate all possible adversity. But instead, I need to be a safe and consistent place for them to land when they inevitably fail; and to show them, again and again, how to get up on their own.Michelle Obama 2019, for British Vogue
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