Books: Non-Fiction

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

Book — Non-fiction. By Anna Malaika Tubbs. 2021. 288 pages.
This book details the lives of Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little, the mothers of James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X, respectively.

Time Periods: 20th Century, 1945
Themes: African American, Civil Rights Movements, Women's History

Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin’s son James, about Alberta King’s son Martin, and about Louise Little’s son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them, whose lives spanned Jim Crow, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights Movement, and the specific prejudices Black women faced during these and many more pivotal moments in U.S. history.

Berdis, Alberta, and Louise pushed their sons toward greatness with the conviction that all human beings deserve dignity and respect, teaching resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people. These women, their similarities and their differences as individuals and as mothers, represent a piece of history left untold and a celebration of Black motherhood long overdue. [Publisher’s description.]

ISBN: 9781250756138 | Flatiron Books

Check out NPR’s Throughline podcast with author Anna Malaika Tubbs, who explores how these three women shaped American history.

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