Black Mamas Always Prevail

Black Mamas Always Prevail

Artist Francis Mead works on piece. Photo: Kathryn Styer
I see Black mamas and Black women around me just shining and taking care of their babies, raising them to just be free and to vibrate higher, over all of this active and latent violence and white supremacy in this country. It’s just amazing to me, and it brings me to tears all the time. As a Black mama and an artist, I am honored to collaborate again with Forward Together for Mamas Day.

I see Black mamas around me just shining and taking care of their babies, raising them to just be free and to vibrate higher.

I’ve been doing my art thing and creating much longer than I have been a mama, but I must say that becoming a mama has definitely helped me work even harder on my creative dreams and goals. Mamahood pushes me to be greater. I feel privileged to be able to make art that’s going to be highlighting and uplifting mamas, especially Black and brown mamas. Our stories don’t get the same level of spotlight and platform that other mothers get. This project now resonates with me on a deeper more personal level.

Power and Flowers is such a beautiful theme to uplift for this year’s Mamas Day. It embodies so much beauty and resilience. Even through the roughest climates, flowers always bloom. Through the concrete, through a drought — they bloom. I’ve learned from being a mama that there’s so much strength in being soft, open and vulnerable, and we must hold that power.

Being a mama has been an incredibly liberating experience for me. I think people who aren’t parents sometimes believe that after you become a mom you lose yourself. There can often be a negative narrative around mamahood, especially for women of color. Becoming a mother and giving birth at home with a close friend, who’s a Black midwife, gave me the opportunity to really face my fears and step up into my power. That is what mamahood has been about, just really stepping into my power and trusting it. It’s not easy. It’s the hardest work ever. But it’s the most sacred.

Francis Mead
Artist Francis Mead sits on the floor of her living room and adds the final touches to a painting of a Black person holding an Ankh, while her daughter paints another canvas. Photo: Kathryn Styer
Francis and her daughter paint together. Photo: Kathryn Styer
I was raised by a single mom, and there weren’t a lot of other people around to help us. My mom and I suffered because we did not have that level of support. As a new mama, what I and many other mamas need most is love and more support in the movement. When I say love I don’t just mean romantic love, or a partner, but just having people around you that see you, and see you in the struggle of mamahood and evolving and transforming, and failing at times, and succeeding, and just having a beautiful community around you that can reflect yourself back to you.

Support and love is even more of a necessity for mamas of color in the movement. Black mamas and mamas of color are not valued or respected. There are these absurd racist stereotypes and ideas, and there are people who just want to judge us. There’s so much physical, spiritual and emotional violence that’s put on Black women, period, especially Black mamas. Even though there are oppressive powers that seek to crush the Black mama, we prevail.