It’s been said that “mother” is a verb and not a noun. But of course, it’s both. Mothers are and mothers do, and quite often it’s the doing that makes the mother: the showing up, the loving, the healing, the teaching, the care and feeding, the scolding, the guidance, the forgiveness. Mothers, mother figures, other mothers, aunties, grandmothers—they are our Polaris in the night sky, our Orion’s belt, and our many points in between. We map ourselves through life in relation to these maternal bodies; sometimes they pull us toward them with the rapid force of gravity, other times they propel us away with gentle and not-so-gentle winds.
Here at TFW–as daughters, sons, mothers, other mothers, grandchildren, aunties, and feminists–we are acutely aware that this contemporary political moment is unabashedly hostile to mothers, especially the most vulnerable. So on this day, the one day out of 365 that is reserved exclusively for mothers, we celebrate motherhood in all its beautiful, messy complexity. We offer tributes to our own mothers and mother figures while also attempting to say something that matters about the culture we live in and the ways that mothering is valued, or not.
This is the largest forum we’ve published in just one day, with eight distinctive articles and stories. We invite you to sit back with your tea or coffee, perhaps with some music playing softly in the background, and read the offerings of TFW Collective members Bushra Rehman, Darnell Moore, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Monica Casper, Shubhra Sharma, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Aimee Meredith Cox, and Omar Ricks.
And Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, and to all people who mother, everywhere.