Dr. Sabrina Jackson, left, local motivational speaker encourages families to reconcile. Cameo King, however, runs a non-profit organization and a podcast that helps girls and women be real.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Sabrina Jackson and Cameo King

“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.”

The late great poet Maya Angelova noted the strong relationship between mothers and their children.

Black mothers are known to support the world, and their adult children are usually with them, blessing them for bringing them up and loving them from their womb to the present day.

How then do these mothers experience grief and dysfunction in their families, especially in their adult children, who may or may not be guilty?

The archetype of a strong black woman and a strong black mother who, according to research, could be partly to blame, has for decades failed the black family, forcing black women to bear an unjust burden that never belonged to them entirely.

Historians of sociology and culture note that the difficult tasks assigned to black women lead to the fact that they not only suffer emotionally, but also affect their children.

Author Neil Livingston wrote that black people, especially women, face a “psychological challenge” due to their African heritage and often whitewashed upbringing and education that forces them to have a “multifaceted self-image” that WEB DuBois calls dual consciousness, or often look at yourself through the eyes of another person.

“Based on popular culture, black women’s iconography has been the savior, the cook, the cleaner, the caregiver of their children and the children of others, the ones responsible for doing the best that we didn’t spoil in the first place, sex objects,” superheroes, charming Negroes, those who are everything to everyone, acting under the watchful eye of the public that has built this superhuman stereotype, ”Livingston wrote. “Without realizing it, the notion of our culture seeks to distort black women and dehumanize us.”

Do distorted images of black women leave room for distorted, strained relationships with their children?


Dr Sabrina Jackson, a local motivational speaker, said the broken and distant relationship between mothers and their adult children is the result of often distant daughters and caressed sons.

She said that centuries ago in a speech by white slave owner Willy Lynch, called the Willy Lynch Letter, other slave owners instructed how to keep slaves in order through strict demarcation tactics that would control them mentally for hundreds of years. Jackson added that Willie Lynch will show the owners how to break the spirit of enslaved men, and enslaved women will learn to protect their sons and their husbands, and then teach their daughters to be strong.

“Many of these things we do today,” Jackson said, adding that DNA has a memory. “There are things in our DNA that can be around [like] a feeling of depression. … You tolerate [that] if you have children … [and it] passes to the next generation. ”

“Many times [Black women] they feel that their mothers did not support or love them, ”she said. “Adult sons feel they can always go to mom; the mother surrenders [in some] cases of their wives … sons do things for their mom, not for their wives. And you will find problems between mother and son and his wife. ”

Jackson said she has worked with families over and over again to get out of this model of relationship.

“One of the greatest things people can do to heal from something is to be real,” she said, adding that family members often need a family tragedy to get together and reconcile. Upon agreement a specialist should be in the mix and assist if necessary. “Because in our community we don’t do that [always] see professionals. The professional is qualified and equipped for navigation. ”

Others agree.

In the journal Black Studies, «A Qualitative Study of the Black Mother-Daughter Relationship: Lessons on Self-Esteem, Overcoming, and Sustainability, the researchers found that black women “receive less emotional support from relatives or friends,” suggesting that countless black women may feel uncomfortable sharing their emotional problems or weaknesses ”due to taking on this strong black trail.

“Moreover, they found that African-American mothers can interact differently with their daughters than with their sons. Mothers exercised more control over the behavior of their daughters and more confirmed and supported their sons, ”the magazine said.

Other groups are defending the Black Mothers. In one article, “Wonderful or Funny: The Burden of Black Women Scientists and Dialogue in Solidarity,” author Darius D’Wain Hills noted that Mom Pope (Olivia Pope’s mother) from the ABC Scandal show said it best: ” I tell you, black woman, be strong, they say. Support your man. Educate a person. Think like a man. Well … I have to do all this – who works for me here? Carry my burden – builds me when I go down? Nobody … we try to help everyone, even if we don’t get anything. Is it great or funny? ”

Fence repair

Cameo King, an advocate for women and girls and founder of the nonprofit Grit, Glam and Guts, which deals with 12-17-year-old girls in Lansing, told the Michigan Chronicle that it helps women, including daughters and mothers. , heal yourself in your relationship.

“I consider myself a supporter of women and girls and focus on the experience for black women and girls,” King said, adding that her organization focuses on self-identity, self-awareness and recognizing the “strength of your voice.”

King said that real young girls and teenagers lead to real women who express themselves as the best version of themselves.

She is also the owner of The Good Girl podcast, which tells women about their flaws, faith, femininity and culture. King added that when working with women, she sometimes sees how they have grown, not allowed to be themselves to the fullest, which can affect their relationship, especially with their mother.

“If you’re not who you are, who you’re called to be … you live in a state of denial, and it affects relationships, the way you are at work, and it erodes who you are.” , – said King, adding that this is especially true for black women, who are often rewarded for being in the box. “It fills your pocket, but not your soul.”

King said that although she and her mother have a wonderful relationship, she empathizes with others who cannot say the same. She echoes Jackson’s thoughts and said therapy could help solve these problems, especially as a result of harmful behavior in the Black family.

«[Therapy is the ability] be honest with yourself and take responsibility for your actions, ”King said, adding that some serious truths include a mother’s responsibility for any role they’ve played and see themselves as“ villains ”in their own history.

“I think it’s the root,” King said. “Responsibility and responsibility and telling the whole truth.”

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