A conversation between Nina Collins and Washington Post reporter Helena Andrews-Dyer about her new book, THE MAMAS: What I Learned About Kids, Class and Race, From Moms Not Like Me.
Can white moms and Black moms ever truly be friends? Not just mom friends, but like really real friends? And does it matter?
“Utterly addictive . . . Through her sharp wit and dynamic anecdotal storytelling, Helena Andrews-Dyer shines a light on the cultural differences that separate Black and white mothers.”—Tia Williams, New York Times bestselling author of Seven Days in June
Helena Andrews-Dyer lives in a “hot” Washington, D.C., neighborhood, which means picturesque row houses and plenty of gentrification. After having her first child, she joined the local mom group—“the Mamas”—and quickly realized that being one of the only Black mothers in the mix was a mixed bag. The racial, cultural, and socioeconomic differences were made clear almost immediately. But spending time in what she calls “the Polly Pocket world of postracial parenting” was a welcome reprieve. Then George Floyd happened. A man was murdered, a man who called out for his mama. And suddenly, the Mamas hit different. Though they were alike in some ways—they want their kids to be safe; they think their husbands are lazy; they work too much and feel guilty about it—Andrews-Dyer realized she had an entirely different set of problems that her neighborhood mom friends could never truly understand.
The hosts of the Hot Flashes and Cool Topics podcast talk with Stacy London and Nina Collins.
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