This Independent Study serves to examine the politicization of Black motherhood in American Society. It will do so by analyzing Black motherhood in three different periods. First, it will look at Black motherhood during antebellum slavery. Next, readers will get a glimpse of the depictions of Black motherhood in the American sitcoms Good Times (1974) and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990). Lastly, it will examine Black mother’s activism around police brutality through #BlackLivesMatter and Mothers of the Movement. It is important to provide a developing study of Black motherhood to understand the historical context and implications history has had on the structural inequalities that affect present-day Black motherhood. I use theories such as Critical Race Theory (CRT), Feminism and Womanism as a foundation for my critique. Overall, with the help of text-based and visual sources, readers will understand that Black motherhood is political because of institutionalized racism and oppression. This study recognizes that Black mothers would not parent the way they do if not for the unstable political environment that they rear Black children within.
Smith, Alana, "Before the Streetlights Come on: An Analysis of the Politics of Black Motherhood Within American Society" (2020). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9056.
Arts and Humanities
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2020 Alana Smith