Contemplating Antiracist Mothering in the Lives of White Women in Multiracial Families

Willow Samara Allen


Although more white women live, love, and mother in multiracial contexts, there remains limited scholarship on them, particularly what role they can play in antiracism efforts. In this article, I consider what antiracist mothering means to white women in multiracial families, and how they practice antiracist mothering in their lives. I draw on data from two participant workshop discussions on antiracism and mothering, held as part of a larger qualitative study of ten white women in multiracial families in Canada. The participant dialogues reveal four key themes: facing fear, developing critical skills, finding “comfort in discomfort,” and engaging in self-reflective learning. The research findings demonstrate how white women in multiracial families can be proactive in their negotiation and resistance to dominant discourses of race and racism, especially if they are willing to participate in ongoing learning. The research study suggests using an antiracism framework to explore the perspectives and practices of white mothers in multiracial families is informative to reconceptualizing their mothering roles, and how they can cultivate their own and their children’s critical skills. Participant workshops are recommended as a method to engage issues of race and difference with white women in multiracial families.

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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.