The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America's most pivotal heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin's son James, about Alberta King's son Martin Luther, and Louise Little's son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them, who were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women.

Berdis, Alberta, and Louise passed their knowledge to their children with the hope of helping them to survive in a society that would deny their humanity from the very beginning--from Louise teaching her children about their activist roots, to Berdis encouraging James to express himself through writing, to Alberta basing all of her lessons in faith and social justice. These women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced.

These three mothers taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America's racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families' safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers.

These women, their similarities and differences, as individuals and as mothers, represent a piece of history left untold and a celebration of Black motherhood long overdue.

Title:The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation
ISBN:9781250756121
Format Type:

    The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation Reviews

  • Colleen Foster

    I was so excited to get this book. I've always been curious about the mothers of three great men. But where do you start? How do you find the information that you need? I was so eager to dive into thi...

  • Farris Blount III

    The Three Mothers is an eye-opening read that encourages us to take seriously not only the ways in which Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin were shaped by their mothers but also how ...

  • Nerdette Podcast

    Cannot recommend this book highly enough! The detailed examination of each of these three families, paired with heartrending historical and social context, creates a story that's important and utterly...

  • Zoe Giles

    “Through the lives of the three mothers - Alberta, Berdis, and Louise - I honor Black motherhood as a whole and celebrate knowledge passed from generation to generation through the bodies and teachi...

  • Tomes And Textiles

    I loved this look at these three mothers and how they and their experiences influenced their children. More thoughts to come soon, but this was a really beautiful nonfiction....

  • Bitchin' Reads

    Powerful. Enlightening. Thoroughly explored and wonderfully expressed. Worth a read!...

  • Jessica Anderson

    A stunning account of the women who preceded and inspired a generation of Civil Rights icons. The Three Mothers is a fast read, not due to lack of substance but rather such seamless visual storytellin...

  • Alexia

    The Three Mothers is genius, well researched and crafted, and so full of love. I truly commend Tubbs for being able to see through the devastation and pain and create something that honors the lives o...

  • Hannah Mullan

    This book was a sociology of race scholars dream. The sociological imagination mixed with the historical contexts/ timelines built an incredible story of three legendary women. This book is about blac...

  • Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...

    Three Mothers is a difficult book for me to review. The story is of course uplifting and inspirational. These three women were courageous, strong mothers. Their stories are eye-opening. I found myself...