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The Three Mothers

How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation

by Anna Malaika Tubbs

The Three Mothers by Anna Malaika Tubbs X
The Three Mothers by Anna Malaika Tubbs
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  • Peggy A. (Morton Grove, IL)
    Behind every great man is a mother!
    Anna Tubbs not only highlights but celebrates the unique contributions of Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little in making their sons so influential and powerful in shaping American society. This book is unique in its perspective of seeing how important these three women were in nurturing and developing these pivotal black figures. The level of detail in defining how these mothers not only coped in such a violent and racist society but managed to mother their sons into prominence underscores the amount of scholarly depth the author brings to this book. My only critique was that at times, I felt I was being lectured to instead of allowing me to form my own opinions. Overall, I applaud the author for the prodigious amount of work she did to uncover the personal stories of these three strong, courageous, and truly inspirational women!
  • Rory A. (Ventura, CA)
    Men Have Never Been the Only Ones to Make History, and It's Finally Time to See the Light!
    History in the present day is about finally illuminating what has always been pushed into dark corners and completely ignored. Anna Malaika Tubbs is one of the great many leading the charge, with this in-depth chronicle of the lives of Alberta King, Louise Little, and Berdis Baldwin, the mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.

    Tubbs' greatest strength and heart in the book is keeping the women connected, with all their commonalities, their struggles, their power, their heartbreak, their drive giving to us insight into what they endured, and how their heroic sons were influenced by their powerful day-to-day example.

    All three are phenomenal women that hopefully is just the start, thanks to Tubbs, in bringing much more of this to the fore. It's ever more crucial in these tumultuous times.
  • Colleen F. (Carrollton, TX)
    The Three Mothers
    I was so excited to get this book. I've always been curious about the mothers of three great men. But where do you start? How do you find the information that you need? I was so eager to dive into this book and I must admit I feel like these three mothers. This book is full of love and compassion for their sons. How they were raised and taught shows the type of love that they received. This book also helps me to understand that no matter what, as a mother we are always teaching our children and trying to have their lives better than ours. We lose sleep and suffer because of the love that we have for them.

    This book shows me that not only were these three mothers exceptional mothers but they didn't get the credit that they deserved. We have to prepare our children for the world. And unfortunately, they had to live to see their sons' deaths.

    This book is beyond amazing and so needed at a time where mothers are hardly given the credit for raising such incredible men. Thank you BookBrowse for giving me the opportunity of this advanced reading book.
  • Shey C. (Morristown, TN)
    Good Historical Work
    I really enjoyed The Three Mother's. Wow, they were some strong ladies! While reading this I tried to put myself into some of the situations these ladies faced and I know I would not have had the bravery and divinity these women displayed. This would be a good book for bookclubs.
    The author lost me when she got political in the last chapter. I don't participate in political discussions and don't want to read about anyone's political views. I skipped most of the last chapter.
  • Claire M. (Sarasota, FL)
    The Three Mothers
    Three Black men of historical consequence are seen through what the writer makes of the lives of their mothers and the influence she proposes these women had on their sons.
    These three women came from different backgrounds, even countries, but all were bright and all wanted to do something in life. They wanted to be educated, they wanted control over their bodies and to be able to raise a family by choice-not forced by a slave owner to produce money by having his children. Family and education, knowledge of the system and pursuit of their own worth and potential; these were what drove the Three Mothers.
    All three recognized that education was potentially the way out of being suppressed by the white power structure. These men, Martin Luther King, Malcolm Little and James Baldwin were taught by their mothers to stand tall when faced with white aggression and suppression. Martin made it to college, Malcolm hit bottom after his mother was put in a mental institution but rehabilitated in jail and James dropped out of school to provide for his family. The racism, violence, and refusal to see any Black person as a person had affected all of them.
    The mothers were the pillars for their sons, and it is in this era, many years later that the importance of understanding the lives the mothers and the men they married is so historically vital in bringing out the conditions under which Blacks lived and tried to evade. For far too many, times have not changed.
  • Diane T. (Slingerlands, NY)
    I need to know more
    Anna Malika Tubbs' book, The Three Mother's, gives the reader a background of the mothers of three influential Black men who were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin. These men absorbed the passion of justice for the Black man from their mothers who lived during Jim Crow. These women not only saw the cruelty but experienced it first hand. Their sons also saw and experienced those cruelties yet approached their fight for equality in such different ways. In doing her research, Ms. Tubbs' was faced with having none of these mothers and sons alive to be able to hear first hand information, both factual and emotional. Although the factual was gotten from historians and personal interviews of remaining family members, the emotional bond between mother and son, the unspoken was lost. Perhaps if the scheduled interview with all three sons in one room could have taken place, it would have greatly added to the extensive research which she had done. Unfortunately, the assassination of Malcolm X happened two days prior to what would have been a historic interview by Kenneth Clark.

    Through narratives of the beginnings of all three men and the tribulations their mothers faced, this gave me a perspective that no history or civics class could ever impart in students.

    Ms. Tubbs' structure of her book reminds me of a dissertation with the conclusion chapter as her defence. After finishing reading this book, I was left with more questions. Perhaps that is the mark of a book whose topic has never been written before!
  • Shirley L. (Norco, LA)
    Needs More Heart Less Info
    I loved the opening story the author told of the night she discovered that she was to become a black mother to her son. It was heartfelt, relatable, and so human. I only wish that tone had continued throughout the book.

    This book read like a very good, well researched doctoral dissertation. It would make a great supplemental text for a class on race relations or women's studies. I just was disappointed that given its current format it will probably not be read by a more general audience. The readers who could most benefit from learning about these three remarkable women will probably never read this book in its entirety. That saddens me.
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