#AcademiaIRL – The Three Mothers

Welcome back to the 255! In honor of concluding Black History Month, we wanted to highlight an important new book from emerging scholar and former first parter of Stockton, CA, Anna Malaika Tubbs. Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, and James Baldwin are some of the most famous figures of the long endeavor to combat racial injustice in the US. Three individuals that are less well-known in the history books are their mothers. Tubbs seeks to explain how Louise Little, Alberta King, and Berdis Baldwin shaped the future of the United States in her new book The Three Mothers. We’ve got all the details, plus articles and podcasts below to learn more information about Anna Malaika Tubbs and her work. Check it out!

Anna Malaika Tubbs is a force to be reckoned with. Tubbs is an activists, educator, scholar, and now author! She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and is currently a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. Throughout her childhood, Tubbs grew up in many countries abroad, namely Dubai, Mexico, Sweden, Estonia, and Azerbaijan. Inspired by her mother’s women’s rights advocacy work, Anna now uses her intersectional lens throughout her work to educate and advocate for the rights of women of color. She has also participated in fundraising for women’s clinics and other organizations that share her passion for social justice and advocacy. Finally, Anna also works as a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant who has worked with companies and individuals interested in progressing their DEI goals. Follow her on Twitter @annas_tea_ and learn more about her biography and work here.

Malcolm X said “the mother is the first teacher of the child. The message she gives that child, that child gives to the world.” Unfortunately, it is not hard to understand how the work of these three women have been overlooked by the major voices of U.S. history. Tubbs’ book rewrites the narrative to feature the crucial impact these women had on the making of the modern United States. A New York Times article recently highlighted a review of Tubbs’ work in which they explain “[Tubbs] aims to correct [the] erasure [of these mothers from history] by piecing together what she can from the ‘margins and footnotes’ of books, speeches, funeral programs, and letters.”

Tubbs’ book, out now, is already being lauded by critiques. The Three Mothers is already being reviewed by major magazines and newspapers as one of the best “21 Books to Look Forward to in 2021!” (Fortune Magazine), one of the “Badass Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2021” (Badass Women’s Bookclub), and as an “eye-opening, engrossing read” by New York Times Bestselling author, Brit Bennett. The Three Mothers was also the topic of discussion on one of our favorite podcasts, Getting Curious, hosted by Jonathan Van Ness (from Queer Eye, another fav!) Tubbs joins Van Ness to discuss her new book as well as give the audience a deeper look into her studies of Black motherhood. Listen to the episode entitled How Can We Honor Black Motherhood? wherever you find your pods.

We hope you enjoyed this segment of #AcademiaIRL. It’s important to notice works of academia in the “real world”, and applaud those who work beyond the hallowed halls of colleges and universities to continue learning and educating. Be sure to look into Anna Malaika Tubbs’ book, The Three Mothers, and tells us your thoughts and takeaways. We will see you in our next segment on the 255! As always a gentle reminder to be kind, stay safe, and read books and work of black women!!

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