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Anna Malaika Tubbs: These Black Women's Sons Changed The World

Anna Malaika Tubbs is an author, advocate, educator and diversity consultant.
Photo by Anna Malaika Tubbs
Anna Malaika Tubbs is an author, advocate, educator and diversity consultant.

(This conversation was originally aired on April 9, 2021)

On this archive edition of Midday, we begin by revisiting Tom's conversation last Spring with the author of a book about three accomplished Black women: Alberta King, Louise Little and Berdis Baldwin. It’s part biography of these women, and part clarion call for recognition of all Black women.

Anna Malaika Tubbs writes that erasure, mis-recognition and historical amnesia are, sadly, part of the formation of African American female identity, and her book is part of her effort to erase that erasure. In exploring the revolutionary power of these women, who came of age between the two World Wars, Tubbs shows how their stories inspire the struggle for survival today.

Alberta King, Louise Little and Berdis Baldwin were each accomplished in their own right, and in their own way. Between them, they raised many children, three of whom grew up to be among the most significant figures in the American Civil Rights movement.

Flatiron Books/MacMillan Books

Tubbs makes the point that these remarkable women, overshadowed in history by their famous sons, have often been ignored, and, that they’ve been ignored in different ways. In this book, Tubbs goes about the task of elevating them, chronicling their individual achievements, assessing their influence on their children, and correcting the misrepresentations she finds in the current scholarship about them.

The book is called The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation.

Anna Malaika Tubbs joined us on Zoom in April, from Los Angeles…

Because our show was recorded earlier, we can’t take any new calls or comments.

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