Mother Love: My Mother Excerpts from a Feminist Diary

Pauline E. Bullen


In this work I write of mother love, of mothering, of a love of family and community,the nurturing of self-reliance, bold and enterprising spirits and pure hearts. I am presenting this work from a Black feminist or womanist, reflective standpoint even though I was cautioned as a child not to be too or so “womanish” in my behaviour.I was cautioned to not act as though I were older than I actually was; not to rushto grow up “before my time.” I am not conscious of rebelling, but from an early ageemulated my mother’s strong will, her determination and her resourcefulness—herwill to survive poverty and contest exploitation and oppression. Black folk who livein racist, ethnocentric, sexist and patriarchal societies where white and ‘light’ skin is privileged and given supremacy, need to tell their own stories—stories that resonate with love and laughter even as they may be poignant and heart wrenching. It is important that we put a human face to poverty and oppression, to let others whoquestion our origins know that like all beings we come from some place and bringmuch of value with us to where we now stand!

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We are grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for its ongoing support of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.