Being an “Other” Mother

Raising Mothers is a publication devoted to deepening the conversation around issues parents of color face. They are currently publishing writing on the next steps in parenting post-presidential election. When the Founding Editor, Sherisa de Groot contacted me, I knew I wanted to write something on this topic. It felt and feels very alive to me.

Other Mothers

It’s a curious thing, writing when we are afraid. I was afraid to tackle the subject even though I was excited about it, but here’s the thing: I could stay inside the fear or I could write against it. Raising Mothers gives writers the opportunity to create social awareness and lift each other up. So I dove into the issue with aplomb and came out the other side raggedy but whole.

Writing the piece and seeing it published were two different animals. It is fucking terrifying to put truths out into a world that deems them unpopular even before you open your mouth. I’m glad I took the chance, and I’m grateful to Raising Mothers for including my voice on this issue. I hope it will inspire empathy in those who have never looked at this issue from the inside and courage to those who have yet to share their voices. Here is an excerpt of my piece along with a link. I hope you are raised by what you read.

Passing On Privilege

“I want to teach my children to love who they are, where they come from and to follow their wildest dreams, but they have already received another message. With the election of Donald Trump for president, America has declared their ethnic differences criminal. The information wound its way into their ears on playgrounds and in hallways. They are fortunate to attend schools that celebrate difference, yet they still begged their father and me to move them out of this country to keep them safe from Trump and the violence he incites against Others.”

If you are a mother of color with something to say, please consider submitting to Raising Mothers or supporting the publication.

Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

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