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Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines

4.55  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  36 reviews
An anthology that gives access to the voices of mothers of color and marginalized mothers
Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Frontlines is an anthology that centers mothers of color and marginalized mothers’ voices—women who are in a world of necessary transformation. The challenges faced by movements working for antiviolence, anti-imperialist, and queer liberation, as w
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by PM Press (first published February 1st 2016)
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Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sasha
I can't overstate the importance of parenting narratives that push back against the white supremacist capitalist cishet nuclear family norm & I can't overstate my gratitude and debt to women of colour and their insistence on the inclusion of mothering as power, liberation, and radical activism.

And also, I wish there had been more than one trans woman in this book, and I was hoping for some perspectives that integrated a powerful comprehension of mothering as divine with something other than bina
Melissa Espiritu
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mom-nerd-shelf
I truly appreciated reading all the different perspectives of mothers whose experiences I identified with and the ones whose experiences were new to me. As a new mom, as with many new moms, I feel like I've discovered a new motivation and a new will in me to find ways to create a new world for my kids. And this newfound motivation touches upon almost every aspect of my life because motherhood touches upon every aspect of my life, even the parts that are solely about my own self-actualization. My ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
"mothering is love by any means necessary"
Linnae  Chau Schroeder
yall😭🥺 this book. this anthology took my heart apart and put it back together again. every single piece left me tender, in awe, challenged, and so grateful and privileged to learn from these radical mothers and be raised by one too. i originally bought this as part of my own journey healing my relationship with my mom, particularly unlearning internalized expectations of white motherhood. this is so much more! to read from so many Black, Indigenous, & other mothers of color, LGBTQ+ mothers, sing ...more
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: activism, feminist
“You will be turned inside out. If not during the birth, then during the pregnancy, if not the pregnancy, by the nursing, by the sleepless night, the mind-bending loneliness, sooner or later you will break down. You will think, believe you cannot go on. You will realize that if you ever thought that facing yourself, the bloody, ugly, sublime truth of yourself was the ultimate responsibility, you were wrong. It is to face yourself and realize you cannot run away because another life, your child’s ...more
Zaynab Shahar
As someone who is currently crafting her own plan for future revolutionary/fugitive mothering endeavors, reading this anthology was an extreme delight. It was heartfelt, searing in its truths and critiques of systems of oppression, and endearing with the personal antidotes about everyday parenting maneuvers. As a black queer Muslim, I tend to be severely ambivalent about raising children and/or starting my own family given the current states of oppression. Yet I feel better knowing there are oth ...more
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book. I know I’ll return to it over and over again.
Brooke Hebert
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was my last book of 2019 and probably my favorite book that I read this year. It was a collage of poems, essays, letters, histories, and personal narratives from various mothers and mother figures who expressed their experiences navigating social structures in a world that sees motherhood as apolitical. This book taps into the complicated power of motherhood and women’s communal caregiving that is consistent despite differences in poverty, race, politics, culture, etc, which is why it is so ...more
Artnoose McMoose
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an anthology of different accounts of mothering from a wide range of people. Lots of diversity on several different levels.
ONYX Pages
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm so thankful to the editors and the contributors to this wonderful piece of work. I have been reading fiction for the past year, so it took a few pages for me to get into the writing.

I loved reading stories about mothering that were written by a diverse group of women at different stages of their lives. I don't want to include any spoilers in this review, but I will say that each story in this anthology illustrated the strength, vulnerability, and the necessity of revolutionary mothering. I h
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Revolutionary Mothering is an anthology comprised of essays and poems by radical, revolutionary mothers. The voices in this book are the voices that are so often ignored in mainstream conversations about motherhood: queer and trans mamas, mamas of color, single moms, poor mothers, young mothers.

Inspired by This Bridge Called My Back, a collection of essays by radical women of color, published in 1981 and now a classic feminist text, Revolutionary Mothering is similar in tone and substance. The e
Joy Messinger
Revolutionary Mothering is a collection of essays and poetry that discussed all the ways that mothering looks. I found myself captivated by each chapter as I honored the different experiences of mothering shared by the writers - black, indigenous, queer, immigrant, poc, solo, partnered, poor, rural, urban, southern, midwestern, coastal. So much of relationship to reproductive rights & justice has been connected to my politics around mothering, as an adoptee, a feminist, a queer woman of color. I ...more
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There are so many great things to say about this book. A great introduction to intersectionality. By reading all those stories, manifesto and poems by women from minorities, you cannot help but feel this radicality of being a mom. How political and yet natural it is to bring a child to this world and to do your best. May you be on the front lines of activism, plagued with chronic pain, or undermined because of the colour of your skin, your love partners or the gender to associate to, in the end, ...more
Kira Gillett
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has been fundamental in shaping my understanding of the action and power of love. This book is a must read, especially for anyone who is parenting or nurturing change and anyone who is part of a feminist discourse. The wide array of experience and the individual narratives are crucial to gaining a better understanding of what humanity means and what activism means. I don’t usually enjoy anthologies/essays but this book changed my mind on that opinion, as well as some previously held bi ...more
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These are the stories I’ve been looking for as a mother. The stories of survival, struggle, death and of course love that I haven’t been able to find in mainstream culture. The stories are of something bigger than the individual mothers themselves. They tell of why, as mothers, they have to fight. Fight for their children. Fight for themselves. Fight for humanity. Fight to change the world. As Lisa Factora-Borchers writes in her story Birthing the New Feminism, “motherhood is the state of helple ...more
Mareesha Phillips
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First off I want to thank all the contributors to this phenomenal body of work! I am studying to become a Birth & Postpartum Doula and this book was recommended to me. I can’t give it enough stars! I highly recommend this book if you’re thinking of birthing an idea, a cause, a revolution or of course a child!! From the introduction, the poetry, to the overall experience each woman shared, was just what I needed in my toolkit to become the best Doula I can be! ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2019
4.5 but I will ALWAYS round up for Alexis Pauline Gumbs and anyone that she gathers for an anthology. This was the book that I chose to read right after a more mainstream book on expecting and mothering because I needed a dose of revolutionary mother love.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Pretty powerful stuff. Thanks to Jess for the loan!

"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."
-- Audre Lorde
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Not what I was expecting when this book was recommended to me, but I got a lot out of this and am grateful for having had the opportunity to read this book.
Fabiola Sandoval
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Of course I read this book! I know the editors and it's a topic close to my heart. Plus I have one story in here. Strongly recommend!
Emily Waters
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, thoughtful, resonant.
Crystal  Belle
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A black woman’s guide to revolutionary mothering. This is all kinds of EPIC!
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a beautiful, raw, vulnerable read.
Robin Martin
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Voices unheard to this point in popular texts are heard in this anthology of essays by mothers. Both refreshing and troubling to reflect with the authors on the condition of mothering.
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Necessary read for those who mother in all forms.
Shira Minerd
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely incredible anthology of motherhood and mothering. I found myself underlining, starring, and notetaking the margins again and again. It is an entirely beautiful creation.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Can't say enough wonderful things about it!
Danielle Price
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mothering
Wide-ranging in theme and writing types, inspiring. Useful for teaching (e.g. "Mothering as Revolutionary Praxis" by Cynthia Dewi Oka). Particularly timely as we watch (brown) mothers being deported . . .
Sarah Ross
One of my favorite books. A collection of many powerful perspectives on Mothering. Some I could relate to and some I could not but I appreciated them all for their sharing of truth.
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it
"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."
-- Audre Lorde

The importance of intersectionality in feminism cannot be overstated, especially when the subject is that of motherhood. I have always made a point to include feminist works by non-white, non-cis gendered, non-straight women so that I don't develop tunnel vision when it comes to women who have experienced life as a woman differently from the way I have experienced it. Being white and m
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Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a poet, independent scholar, and activist. She is author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity and coeditor of Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines and the Founder and Director of Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind, an educational program based in Durham, North Carolina.

News & Interviews

While books about anti-racism are trending on Goodreads and dominating the bestseller lists right now, some of our favorite Black authors are a...
162 likes · 30 comments
“I've stopped taking it all so personally. The racism and capitalism and ecocide, the sexism and homophobia, how tired everyone in the United States seems even though they claim they are living the best life in the best country in the world. When folks are being worked to the bone and drinking poisoned water in their coffee every morning, there isn't a lot of psychological energy left to figure out that this "best life" is all hoax and a wink. I imagine that anti-Blackness and capitalism and ableism are huge mindless machines hooked into people's spines, making unable to stand for what is right, Every day I pray, not for the revolution, not a savior, just to have the strength to constantly disentangles myself from the machine.” 0 likes
“Science fiction creators taught me not to take the machine personally: the wear and tear, day in and day out, of microaggressions and weird looks and empty bank accounts, and off conversations and news reports and movies and some drunk guy trying to holla at me and another cop found not guilty for shooting a Black boy who wasn't even old enough to vote and our water tasting like rusty metal. While we do need to constantly unplug from the violence of the invisible machines, we aren't going to survive simply by boycotting products made in Isreali settlements or having multiracial babies. We aren't going survive by "voting with our dollars," and we aren't going to make a revolution through the purity of our lifestyles.” 0 likes
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