Motherhood So White
A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America
The story every mother in America needs to read. As featured on NPR and the TODAY Show. All moms have to deal with choosing baby names, potty training, finding your village, and answering your kid's tough questions, but if you are raising a Black child, you have to deal with a lot more than that. Especially if you're a single Black mom... and adopting.
Nefertiti Austin shares her story of starting a family through adoption as a single Black woman. In this unflinching account of her parenting journey, Nefertiti examines the history of adoption in the African American community, faces off against stereotypes of single Black moms, and confronts the reality of what it looks like to raise children of color and answer their questions about racism in modern-day America.
Honest, vulnerable, and uplifting, Motherhood So White is a fantastic book for mothers who have read White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo, Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum, or other books about racism and want to see how these social issues play out in a very personal way for a single mom and her Black son.
This great book club read explores social and cultural bias, gives a new perspective on a familiar experience, and sparks meaningful conversations about what it looks like for Black families in white America today.
Sourcebooks, 9781492679011, 304pp.
Publication Date: September 20, 2019
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Describe Nefertiti’s relationship with her parents, Diane and Harold, and her grandparents, Ann and Henry. How do you think these relationships formed Nefertiti’s first views on parenthood and what it means to be a parent?
2. How did you own upbringing influence your take on what it means to be a parent? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned through your childhood experiences that influenced how you do or would parent today?
3. What is Nefertiti’s experience with “Black adoption,” and how did it impact her choices later in life?
4. Nefertiti describes how, suddenly, the stirrings of motherhood turned into an overwhelming desire to pursue becoming a parent. If you are a parent, what moved you to make that decision? Which path to parenthood did you choose?
5. Put yourself in Nefertiti’s shoes—if you were telling your family and friends that you’ve decided to adopt a Black son from the foster care system, how do you think they would react? Were you surprised by the stereotypes and prejudices Nefertiti faced both within and outside her own community? Speak on what you imagine that experience was like for her.
6. What are some of the stereotypes and fears Nefertiti had to confront while raising August in today’s racially charged America? What about with Cherish? What were some of the biases Nefertiti personally faced as a single Black mother?
7. Motherhood So White showcases many of the conversations and experiences parents of Black children face—from teaching their children about unconscious bias to explaining the traps embedded in our current cultural landscape. Speak about those conversations. Were there any that surprised you? Any that you, in your own experiences of parenthood, have or haven’t had with your own children?