From L to R: My maternal grandmother, my mom and my aunt in 1994.

“We can learn to mother ourselves…” ~Audre Lorde

I.

The first time I realized my mother was not invincible, is the day my grandmother died. Something suddenly shifted in her Trinidadian-woman invincibility and even her innate charm and gift of gab could not hide that. I remember thinking, “who will mother my mother, now that her mother is gone?” Growing up in the 80s in Brooklyn, NY, it was normal for multiple women in the community to “mother” others. The act of mothering was a verb, an action that was not solely connected to giving birth to biological children, but…


“Me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow.” ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

Ma’Kiah Bryant via TikTok

As I watched 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant’s TikTok video, I quickly realized she had a talent for making short videos with bursts of teenage-girl flavor. As her eyes dazzled with joy, Ma’Khia showed us how to lay her edges just right, as she styled her hair into two charming pigtails. With a smile that was beaming with confidence, Ma’Khia smiles directly into the camera, clearly proud of her TikTok masterpiece. I was first introduced to the video on Instagram, as I viewed…

Crystal Belle, PhD

Dr. Crystal Belle is an educator, scholar and Critical Race Theorist. Her first book, Start with Radical Love, is set to debut with Corwin press in early 2022.

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