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Resource: TED Talk on how mothers (and fathers) shape the world through their parenting

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 21 January 2022

We easily honor Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. But these renowned civil rights activists didn't birth themselves. And they didn't raise themselves. 

Moms shape the world through how they shape the worldviews and motivations of their children. This is something that many nations are struggling with as the pandemic continues to pit families against the economy and politics. So many mothers and fathers only feel valued in the paid workforce. We have disempowered their parenting confidence.  

American sociologist Anna Malaika Tubbs takes 12 minutes to share about the brave, love-filled choices of mothers Alberta King, Louise Little, and Berdis Baldwin that made these men who they became. 

"Would the world be different today if we'd been telling their stories all along?" Anna wondered in her TED Talk.

"If the stories we told of mothers reflected their presence, their importance, their power, their influence, their wholeness, and their humanity," she concluded, "then it would be easier for everyone to appreciate their roles and back them with the support that they deserve."

Anna ends with this simple call-to-action: "How about we stop thanking mothers for being selfless and putting their needs behind everyone else's?"

We must stop extoling parents' self-sacrifice and expecting parents to raise children well in a mainstream culture that does not value nurtured families. At the same time, we must start recognizing the profound impact of parenting on our families, child outcomes, communities, politics, and society's well-being.


Parenting shapes our society