The Three Mothers

The Three Mothers
Book Review

Kelly said :

A difficult book for me to review. The story is of course uplifting and inspirational. These three women were courageous, strong mothers. Their stories are eye-opening.

I found myself sad for their suffering, and angry at the world they found themselves living in.

It made me feel the devastation that comes from acknowledging all the ways my country hasn’t changed.

The perspective of the book is unique, thought-provoking and interesting. I do wish it were longer, and that I could have spent more time in each of their shoes.

Randall said :

Anna Tubbs has created a new genre that should rightly be called “Speculative History.”

With little recorded history to base her conjectures on, she speculates about the attitudes and mental states of the mothers of MLK, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin and their husbands.

The author’s repeated references to herself and her interpretation of what it is possible to know produce a work that is too often fantasized and glamorized and reads like a feminist manifesto. Claims that David Baldwin, for example, wanted to “reveal the truth behind white supremacy” in his sermons are quite different than his stepson’s reflection in “Letter to My Nephew” that the elder Baldwin “…really believed what white people said about him.”

Tubbs interlaces her speculation, though, with better documented vignettes of the horrors and outrages visited on African Americans by the white power structure, and in the effort adds to the chronicle of abuse white America refuses to acknowledge today. It is not enough, however, to cover her audacity in claiming insight about the lives of the women who nurtured three giants of Black history.


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