I’ve spent most of the last 11 years searching for the words to justify the abortion I had at 17. And I’ve been trapped in a painful cycle of self-criticism and discomfort ever since.
Don’t get me wrong; I know that abortion was right for me. But the “love the sinner and hate the sin” support I experienced at a “crisis pregnancy center” was just insidious enough to convince me that good people didn’t terminate pregnancies. And if I held any linger...
I’ve worried about preparing my children for a world that normalizes their mistreatment based on their skin color since before they were born. And now that I have one — and soon to be two — preschool-aged children, my quest to find programs and child care that go beyond tolerating and toward affirming them has intensified.
“I really think all parents, not just parents of color, should be at a place where we are fed up with racism, discrimination, prejudice and hate speech,” says Ann-Louise Lo...
A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez is an award-winning writer, speaker and activist working to amplify Black women's voices in the mainstream dialogue, especially within conversations on health and parenting. She is also the founder of the #FreeBlackmotherhood movement.
Given a chance, I’d summarize my youth and adolescence in three words: awkward, anxious, and ambivalent.
I moved through my formative years feeling like I was either a punchline or a problem to be solved, thanks to my awkwardness, “...
Inspires thought-provoking conversations on race and wealth • Increases representation of people of color in underacknowledged fields • Provides a fun way for individuals to discuss financial goals and values in a judgment-free context
Its regular $39 price tag is high. • I wish it were longer • but it’s just right for a busy family's time allowance.
The Bottom Line
Our criticisms were nearly nonexistent. The thought, effort, and love that went into th...
vorDa /E+ via Getty Images
As a Black woman in a rural, mostly white, and red state, I worry about racism regularly. These fears were particularly present during the years I spent working in a traditional office workplace.
After graduating from college, I regularly applied to multiple open positions at a time. But I wasn’t able to even get a call back until I started applying for temp work. Even then, I was tasked with only menial work like scanning documents. It was frustrating, and it was h...
Right now, just about all things reproduction are a very real source of terror for me.
I’m six months postpartum and have no intention of getting pregnant again, but I can’t find a birth control option I’m happy with. Currently, I’m using the often unreliable Lactational Amenorrhea Method, so ovulation and menstruation could return at any moment; I know I’m running out of time to make a decision.
I’ve been considering a different birth control since the birth of my first child – though I stop...
I’ve been mothering full time for nearly three years. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to stay home with my children. Still, the lapse it created in my employment history made me anxious.
Parenting is not for the faint of heart and comes with a wide range of highs and lows. While often overwhelming, we look back and cherish our decision to bring life into the world. But for many mothers like myself, it’s hard not to wonder if the decision to undergo the obstacles associated with full-...
Glenn Ross remembers the sunflowers in a field near where he grew up in Baltimore’s Fort Worthington neighborhood. His family and neighbors enjoyed the flowers’ beauty and the taste of the freshly picked seeds, sautéed in butter with a pinch of salt.
They didn’t know that the sunflowers, like the nearby African ferns, were in the former cemetery for phytoremediation—the use of plants to remove contaminants like lead and arsenic from soil, standing water, and air.
From the 1950s into the 1970s...
On a regular day, parenting is hard.
But during a pandemic – especially one that brings mass uncertainty around options for childcare and school – it feels damn near impossible.
These kids are driving me crazy. I spend many days lookin' like a Cynthia doll. If I weren't so exhausted, I would be in awe of the creativity and determination they show in pushing me to limits each day.
After four months of chaos, I think I've FINALLY discovered how to minimize the blow of parenting two under five w...
I'm not the only person who's been getting into more conflict during quarantine, am I?
My timelines are filled with every imaginable type of conflict. We're all irritable and learning that it's somehow possible to be overstimulated - d*mn kids/roommates/pets always in our faces - but also under stimulated with limited access to our usual coping tools.
On my quest to be a less grouchy human, I ran across the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). EQ is our ability to notice and correctly...
Guest post by A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
Our guest blogger is A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez. A writer and researcher who visited the State Archives, she discovered something she didn’t expect to see in our collections: herself. We were delighted to read her account of her visit, and to share it with you.
This essay was originally published in The New Territory magazine, Issue 9, 2020.
I was fresh out of college with idealized images of life after graduation when my new husband dropped two bo...
My 4-year-old doesn’t miss an opportunity to tell me that he misses preschool. Until recently, my response was simple — “Too many people are sick, baby. No one is there.”
He doesn’t understand the concept of a pandemic, although he’s made up a song about the importance of wearing masks and regular handwashing. He’s too young to connect “lots of people being sick” with why he can’t be with his friends.
I held off for as long as I could on making an official decision about school this fall. We’...
"Mommy, can you protect me from the bad guys?" my 4-year-old son asks softly while he watches TV. He's thinking of superheroes and villains, and he poses the question with the innocence and curiosity of any other preschooler. But what he doesn't know is that there are "bad guys" everywhere — including the folks who believe he's a bad-guy-in-training just because he's Black.
Admittedly, when the headlines of police brutality and racial oppression have hit me especially hard, I've said, "I don'...
In this op-ed, A. Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez explores how Black women are left vulnerable, even in movements supposedly designed to uplift them.
It’s never been as intensely obvious to me that the world doesn’t see Black women and girls — both cis and trans — as worthy of protection as the day that I read of Crystal Richards’ death.
Her boyfriend, a man with whom many of my friends had graduated from high school, has been charged with first-degree felony murder, according to the Waco Tribune-H...
Win McNamee/Getty Images
When one of us loses a child, all of us feel that hurt; vicarious trauma is an integral aspect of Black motherhood.
My grandmother raised children in the legacy of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother of 14-year-old Emmett Till, who was kidnapped, beaten, mutilated, and dumped in the Tallahatchie River in 1955. My mother grew up in the shadow of Till and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombings, where four Black young girls were killed and many others injured in what was the ...