I have two brand new books to plug. The first is Who's Your Mama?: The Unsung Voices of Women and Mothers As the press release describes, it is a book of “Narratives by a racially and economically diverse group of women, who broaden the traditional notion of motherhood in the United States by discussing their unique experiences and perspectives.” It focuses on topics not usually covered in typical motherhood books, like adoption by a gay couple, raising biracial children, and even the decision to remain childless. It is edited by Yvonne Bynoe, with a foreword by Rebecca Walker (Alice Walker’s daughter) and includes essays by a wide range of women, including my friend Lori Tharps and me. My essay is about how facing my mother’s racism made me look more closely at what my own children were learning about race. I felt compelled to write this essay and was happy that it found a home in this collection, though its publication raises conflicted feelings. I’m hoping it will help other parents think about and discuss how they teach their children about race.
The second book I want to plug is by my friend, Miriam Peskowitz: The Double-Daring Book for Girls Those of you with daughters probably already know about the Daring books. This new version is even more focused on the fun activities kids enjoy, without the nostalgia of the first book. Although I know girls will enjoy having these daring activities explained for them, most of the activities would be just as interesting to boys. For example, I was a “consultant” on the car camping section, which is certainly gender neutral, though another friend gave tips for peeing in the woods that may not be necessary for boys. My daughter loves these books for the ideas they give her. In addition to that, I love to see my friend (who is trained as a feminist religious scholar) raising the standard of popular culture.