When Candice fell pregnant and stepped into the motherhood playing field, she found her experience bore little resemblance to the glossy magazine experience in Great Britain today. Leafing through the piles of prenatal paraphernalia, she found herself wondering: "Where are all the black mothers?".
Candice started blogging about motherhood in 2016 after making the simple but powerful observation that the way motherhood is portrayed in the British media is wholly unrepresentative of our society at large. The author writes with humour, but with straight-talk about facing hurdles such as white privilege, racial micro-aggression and unconscious bias at every point.
I devoured this brilliant book so quickly. Once you start listening it is very hard to stop. It is timely, intimate, very well-written and the added bonus of Candice narrating the book herself made the experience so much more enjoyable.
Candice candidly discusses her experience as a Black mother in a still very racist, prejudiced and partisan UK. She has a way with words that really draws you in and makes you listen. There is a level of rawness, vulnerability and relatability that makes you feel as though you are listening to a friend.
I found chapters 2 and 5 particularly hard-hitting. It takes immense bravery and courage to be able to speak about such experiences so openly and I really commend Candice for that. I highly recommend this book to everyone, regardless of whether you're a parent or not. It is educational and edifying and there is so much to take away from it.
With the current world events and everyone trying to raise awareness on their social media, Candice says something at the end of her book which is so important and pertinent:
'...Here I am and here I will be - long after the dust has settled and apps like Instagram are archaic as Myspace, this fight will still be ongoing. I am only really interested in engaging with those who are taking on themes within this book. Who have not only been entertained but also enlightened and who are now impassioned to see how they can actively help make a change and not just be seen to be doing so. What will you do when nobody is watching?...'
This book is a must read. The writing is brilliant and intelligent, and it's clear that Candice Braithwaite is a very talented writer and orator. To be clear on my privellege. I am a white woman living in a predominantly white town in Scotland with no children. I work in the NHS as a midwife and am aware of the inequalities of health between black and white women, as well as women from other minority backgrounds. The MBRRACE report is an uncomfortable read on which we must inform our practice and strive to do better. I had this knowledge prior to reading. However, the book brought my attention to standard parts of maternity practice such as baby wearing that I had taken for granted without thought of where it originated. I'm grateful Candice was so open in discussing her birth and postnatal experience, which was a difficult read but very important. Although I have a particular interest in maternity care I found every part of this book thought provoking and necessary. Congratulations on a stellar first book Candice Brathwaite and thank you for your work!
10/10 : As a white mother, raising a white son, never has my privilege been so blatant. This book is breathtaking, brilliant & brutal. I urge you to read it. How is it fair that I’ve simply not had to think about the connotations to race when naming my son? I’ve not had to worry when his first racist experience owing to his skin colour would be, or worry about how old he’ll be when he’s wrongfully targeted by a law enforcement shrouded in systemic racism. I didn’t have to worry that my maternity care might be affected by my skin colour, & until @candicebrathwaite spoke out about it, I was ignorant of the statistic that black women are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. This book isn’t just about one woman’s experience of being a black mother, this book is about the glaring disparities in treatment owing to race, with a particular focus on motherhood. I know the colour of someone’s skin should have no bearing on their treatment, but living in a world of white privilege, where systemic, systematic racism is ingrained, simply knowing that is NOT enough, & unless white people do a LOT of uncomfortable learning & work, nothing is going to change. Black lives matter is not a new movement, but recent events have prompted me to become less passive, & this book has been released at an incredibly relevant time. How fucking privileged am I that I can learn about these things, & not have a lived experience of them. That makes me feel very uncomfortable, & that’s a feeling that white people need to feel more.
I had come across Candice Braithwaite on Instagram in June this year, when her posts on Black Loves Matter were shared into my feed. I’ve loved her honesty and vibrancy on Instagram, and her book didn’t disappoint.
It’s a memoir about growing up in Britain in an Afro-Caribbean family, and her experience as a young mother. She covers the misogyny Black women endure from Black men, and also the way young a Black girls and women are looked at by male family members (and how this is often accepted and excused within the family). She also talks about class, the education system, social media culture and representation of race and wider diversity, clothes and makeup and feminism through a Black lens.
Candice details the racism she’s faced, both microaggressions and overt racism. The story of when she picked up a pram she bought on Gumtree was anger inducing.
She also highlighted the way she was raised to present herself well with how she dressed, to raise expectations. I related to this a lot, it’s what I was taught too.
Candice talked a lot about the medical trauma she faced during child birth and afterward. The details were graphic and horrifying, but so important to read. Black women endure medical trauma at a higher rate than white women - even by people from their own communities. I think every medical professional needs to read this.
The last chapter was about Candice’s aim to elevate Black women and shake stereotypes - and she’s some this through social media. She hasn’t seen people like her represented in motherhood media and social media, and so has become a social media influencer to help change that. But she’s experienced backlash from within her own community, as well as some awful treatment from white mummy bloggers. I related to this chapter so much, highlighting a lot of the text to read back later. She wrote about the impact of being called a sellout, and this resonated with me so much.
It was a memoir, but also well researched - with statistics about population, health, names, and racism scattered through.
Candice’s voice is bold but also gentle. She also does a great job in reflecting on her own privileges and biases.
I’ll be thinking of this book for a long time. Thank you Candice for your honesty.
I listened to the audiobook, it was narrated by Candice and it was a quick listen.
The chapter that stood out to me the most was chapter 8, which focuses on what happens when Braithwaite finds out her daughter experienced racism by a white classmate for the first time.
The whole experience was devastating and incredibly frustrating to read. What I liked was that she refused to assuage the white guilt from both the teachers at the school and those of her readers who are white. Throughout the chapter we’re sat right in the uncomfortability of the moment.
So many of the chapters were really eye opening and hard to read. Would strongly recommend this, especially to people living in the UK.
This book is a rare thing. So witty and enlightening, Braithwaite tackles all manner of topics within the theme of British Black motherhood. While the tone somehow stays light throughout it does not take away from the brevity of many of the scenes.
I Am Not Your Baby Mother was written by Candice Brathwaite at a time when Black British women did not have the safe space to talk about being mothers and mothering their children. Brathwaite said this book is part memoir and part manifesto and when you read it you will find out why.
I decided to read this book because of.... the title... I have no interest in being a Mother much less a Baby mother but what I do find interesting is how taboo (even in 2021) it is to be a Baby Mother. I love that Candice explores this in her book and we are given a BLACK experience through it all. I enjoyed hearing about her family upbringing- sis did not hold anything back, all the family business out the door. What I enjoyed was how real she was in this book, if you are a first time Mom, I strongly recommend picking this up.
I felt the ending was a bit all over the place but this is expected with a debut memoir. Overall a strong read.
I like to think I’m an ally to black people and as a mother myself and breastfeeding advocate, to black mothers in particular who face all the usual (and unusual!) challenges of motherhood, but with the added extra ever-present threat and impact of racism. I’ve been trying to expand my knowledge and understanding of racism for a number of years. So I knew about some of the topics covered in the book like the horrific 5 x more statistic but some of the topics were new to me and enlightening. This is the first time I’ve read something so all-encompassing that brings so many issues together in such a frank, concise and heartfelt way. It not only was interesting to read, it made so much sense as many of these subjects are usually discussed individually as separate issues (like knife crime) but reading this book it clicks in to place how connected they all are. And how we each individually need to asses our responses and preconceptions.
I said ‘I like to think I’m an ally’ because learning about white privilege can be hard to face (not as hard as experiencing racism and micro-aggressions your entire life, but difficult to admit and own up to) and this book challenged me. Candice talks about trying to fit in with the white mummy crowd in the beginning by having the ‘must-have’ buggy despite her finances being really stretched, and as someone who didn’t even dare to consider those options or try to fit in that particular clique I felt a bit resentful of this.
It’s really easy to fall in to the trap of being defensive - “well that’s not what I’m like, I don’t treat people like that, and I don’t fit in that group”. I had to back away to consider why I was feeling like that, and why I was wrong. And to be an ally this is something that continually needs to be done, as you encounter new things that you take for granted because of your privilege. I didn’t need to try so hard to fit in because despite how I felt about that tribe, I already did, and I had the luxury to choose to actively ignore the glossy advertising and coffee cup wielding yummy mummy London scene. I was in no danger of feeling unrepresented even in an alternative group to this heavily promoted version of motherhood.
I’ll never know firsthand what it’s like to be a black mother or experience racism but this book has given me an intimate insight, made me grow as an ally, and given me extra confidence to make changes where I can. As a mother to a mixed race child it’s very important I’m able to do this and raise someone who treats everyone with the respect they deserve and expects it in return. When nobody’s watching I’ll be fighting.
Good for giving a perspective on motherhood that is often omitted. It is her experience though, not that of all black mothers, i.e. I share elements of my experience with her, e.g. I worry about my children experiencing racism, but I didn't have the fraught experience she had with her mother and the story of how I got my bugaboo is a lot less interesting - I just went to John Lewis. But, as Chimamanda says, this is why we don't want single stories, and this one helps colour in what can otherwise be a very pale and middle class canon. A quick and worthwhile read.
To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from this and I was surprised to be so hooked that I read it in two sittings! Long bus journeys helped a lot this time around.
I am not a mother and I won't be, it is my choice. But this book is really good as it highlights the problems black people face in many aspects but especially when they have children. The racism and discrimination they have to endure. Give it a go, is a good one.
Lots of interesting chapters but, as a Londoner, I did scoff when she wrote about how she felt inclined to leave London to prevent her unborn son getting involved with gangs. Loved the parts about motherhood and how she felt the need to defy misconceptions of her as a black mum but at parts it felt like she was just unnecessarily trying to defend lots of her life choices.
A brilliantly written book. I listened to the audiobook whilst following along with the hardback copy and I can genuinely say Candice is an absolute fave of mine. Her writing was honest, transparent and funny! Whilst I am not a mother (and dont plan to be anytime soon lol), this book made me think about some of the things I may face when I do eventually become one. It was nice getting to read about motherhood from a Black British woman! Being Black British myself, the book is highly relatable for ALL women. The facts were backed up by evidence and experience. The audiobook was a delightful experience.
My only issue with the book is that its clear that this was written for a white audience in mind as at times it felt like she had to explain herself as a Black woman. Which I cant lie made me uncomfortable that she had to do that but I guess its necessary to "educate" the masses. I initially thought the book was aimed at Black women (although we can learn from her experiences) and she does explain that theres some things we need to do to play the good game. But I guess I'm just tired of Black women having to explain themselves! But nonetheless I highly enjoyed this book and would recommend to anyone and everyone, regardless if you're a mother or not!
Wasn't sure if I'd be able to connect with this book not being a mother myself but I really enjoyed it. Very eye opening about black women's experiences as mothers in Britain and I'm now obsessed with Candice Brathwaite.
Candice Brathwaite wrote a motherhood book I can finally relate to. I wish I had read this book before starting my journey to become a mother So much of what is written in this book is part of my own experience as a black woman and mother. I laughed, nodded in agreement, shaked my head and cried ugly tears. I have followed Candice on social media for sometime and I absolutely love her and what she and her family represents. Candice wrote a very honest book about being a black mother and raising black children in the UK. I am grateful about how candid she is about the issues that we have faced in our journeys; like the unfair labels we receive, the pressures we have to deal with and are outside of our control and how we have to remain strong and well behaved even though we are faced with so much racism,prejudice and hardships on top of all the other motherhood worries. I wanna thank Candice much for writing this book. Our stories need to be told by us. I highly recommend this book to all the mothers I know. Thank you Candice.
A brilliant insightful piece everybody should read. The book is based around Candice’s experience of coming into motherhood but it intertwines all aspects of life, from birth to death. It’s written with a light hearted tone but underlying a deeply sad story of one persons experience (in which she is most definitely not alone) which at times makes you unsure whether to laugh or cry making this book so fantastic.
Absolutely loved this! I'm a huge fan of Brathwaite on instagram and have been dying to read this, and it did not disappoint. Simply written, she lays her story out there for the world with no frills, this is who she is, and this is what she has to say, and we need to pay attention and listen, as she reflects an experience of motherhood that is so often neglected. Her birth story for her first child was horrific and traumatic, and illustrates just how deep-rooted the systemic bias against black women is in healthcare. My only complaint is that I wanted it to be about three times the length, so I for one cannot wait for her next book.
I Am Not Your Baby Mother opened my eyes to the specific hardships faced by black mothers in Britain. It recounts stories from her own life and jumps around quite a lot but Candice Braithwaite tells her story growing up in London. There was some fascinating insight into the prejudices that exist between different African communities and the cultural norms of black British families.
Wow. What a listen. If you have an audible subscription, make this your next credit spend! I absolutely inhaled this, Candice is simply brilliant. She paints a vulnerable, honest and vivid picture of what it means to be a black mother. I don't want to spoil anything, and I'm not sure I could review this properly without doing so. This made me laugh, audibly gasp and flipped my stomach inside out at times.
Some eye-opening stats and a really honest account of motherhood for a black British mother. It’s tough to relate from a place of privilege, but I was reading this for some more education about challenging negative stereotypes & it delivered.
I'm white and childless. This book has affected me so much and should be absolutely crucial reading to all people. Heartfelt, funny, accessible and important and full of things I have never had to think about but should have.
Tell you're white boyfriends to read this book, if they are talking about it maybe someone will finally do something.
A very relevant book for current times which shows the oppression black people and particularly women face every day of their lives. It was interesting, as a white mother to learn how every single action a black women takes has been considered as to what message it shows society, things which I wouldn't even have given two seconds thought to. - it must be exhausting.
Motherhood is hard. But my white privilege affords me an easier ride than it does my BIPOC sisters. I sought medical intervention in childbirth knowing that the odds were in my favour. I had a son and did not consider moving because I was fearful for his future and his life. I became a single mother unconcerned by society’s perception of me. I just can’t contemplate. And in 2020 I can’t quite believe that we’re still here. Thank you Candice for sharing your story. I can only hope now that with our collective eyes open we will move forward.
(Also, while much of the content is sombre in nature, Candice is an engaging and irreverent writer and this was a really entertaining and fast read. I was sad when it was over.)
I can’t really think of much that is more relevant than this book right now. Not only is this book entertaining and interesting, it is insightful and important. I found the whole book incredibly emotional but chapter 5 shocked me to my core- I’m a student midwife starting in September and I care deeply about the MBRRACE-UK report and how we can work to reduce the inequalities in healthcare but this was the first story I have heard from a black women about her experience that make those statistics even more real. This book has given me even more motivation to do whatever I can to change racism within our healthcare system. If you want to educate yourself about racism in the UK, read this book.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this up. The issues of race and motherhood is discussed and being from a white privileged background, it does make you think how differently we experience these life changing moments in the same environments. I would recommend this to those who want to expand their understanding of the racism in the UK.
This is a really well thought out and insightful book into the experiences of being a black mother. Even though I'm not going to be a mother myself, there were many points in this that took my breath away. I Am Not Your Baby Mother definitely confronts a lot of white privilege in ways that haven't come up very often in my own life. This book definitely proved the "America is much more racist than Britain" comment that I hear so often from fellow white people wrong. I'd really recommend everyone read this, even if you're not a parent or planning on becoming one, as there is so much that is relatable in Candice's writing.
I absolutely sped through this incredible book. It is so clear that Candice has poured everything into this book in order to educate us about life for Black women in Britain.
At a time where Black voices are finally being heard, Candice writes eloquently about the need for white people to understand the impact of their actions and their inbuilt racism and to learn how to change.
This “mumoir” was enlightening, horrifying but also hilarious. Thank you Candice for writing this ❤️
I found the writing style very grating and didn’t like it at first- in particular I felt she jumped around too much and didn’t follow a thread. However, the more I read, the more I enjoyed it and understood the message she was trying to get across. An important read for everyone.