A prize from my local library’s Book BINGO event, this next one was right up my alley. With the words “memoir”, “race” and “gender” right on the front cover, I knew it would be interesting to me.
Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America
by Nefertiti Austin
Synopsis According to Mandi:
Without spoilers, Motherhood So White explores Nefertiti Austin’s journey to parenthood as a single, Black woman. With her race and gender against her, Nefertiti pushes cultural norms aside and adopts a black, “crack baby”. As she shares her process in this heart-felt, honest book, she dips into the history of adoption/parenting in the African American community, including her own family history.
The journey has not been easy, but the trials and tribulations have led Nefertiti to where she is today, trying her best to build the kind of family she’s longed for – one raised with love and determination to do good in the world.
“Women of any race shouldn’t have to be superstars for our status as mothers to be respected, no matter what a woman’s path to motherhood is… we need to support each other. We have the same dream of building better families, and this is possible, as long as we recognize and respect each other.”– Nefertiti Austin, Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America
Awards (based upon my brief research):
My Overall Rating:
4 – I laughed. I cried. I learned so much.
Before opening this book, it never occurred to me that there would be cultural differences between black and white adoptions. I never thought about the fact that it would be different to see a black family adopt a white child, yet we see white families adopt black children all the time. I never thought about the fact that adoption means getting the law involved in a journey to parenthood, and for blacks, getting the law involved in anything is a risk.
Just a few chapters in, I was already hooked. I realized I had so much to learn.
I love memoirs, because I think common people telling stories about their common life is so powerful. But I don’t think Nefertiti is common at all. After reading her story, I think she is one of the strongest women I’ve ever read about. With a riddled family history herself, she rids her future family of the instability and drama of her past. She rises from the muck and mire of a “black adoption”, intermittently seeing her parents and being raised by other family members, and adopts a black child to create a better life for him.
Nefertiti’s story is beautiful. Her transparency was amazing. This was such a great book.