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


Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
Flatiron Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 8.9 X 1.2 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

ANNA MALAIKA TUBBS is a multidisciplinary expert on current and historical understandings of race, gender, and equity. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a BA in anthropology, Anna earned her MA in gender studies and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Cambridge as a Bill and Melinda Gates Cambridge Scholar. She lives with her husband, Michael Tubbs, and their children Michael Malakai and Nehemiah Neven.


Advance Praise for Anna Malaika Tubbs' The Three Mothers

One of Fortune Magazine's 21 Books to Look Forward to in 2021!

Badass Women's Bookclub pick for Badass Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2021!

The Three Mothers is a fascinating exploration into the lives of three women ignored by history after raising sons who helped shape a movement. By tracing the intellectual, political, and emotional strands of each woman's life, Anna Malaika Tubbs uncovers hidden complexities within black motherhood that illuminate our understanding of the past while also shedding light on the overlooked contributions of black women today. An eye-opening, engrossing read!
-- Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half and The Mothers

Anna Malaika Tubbs does what Black women do best: hold up the light in darkness, calling us all to do our work. The light Alberta, Louise and Berdis deserve is finally shining on them, not only as mothers, but as women whose lives and examples can stir up the gift in all of us. When we tell the stories of Black women with the sharp truth and clarity Anna has, we can better honor the past and find guidance for the struggles of today. Anna is a powerful storyteller, and we should all be grateful she chose to tell this story."
--Brittany Packnett Cunningham, co-host of Pod Save the People and co-founder of Campaign Zero

In excavating the life stories of the mothers who reared three of the most central figures in the struggle for civil rights, Anna Malaika Tubbs provides a profound reflection on the contours of Black freedom in the twentieth century and beyond. The Three Mothers is an essential celebration of Black women, one that illuminates the history of racism and resistance in critical new ways. A timely and important book.
-- Elizabeth Hinton, author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime

Anna Malaika Tubbs' magnificent debut The Three Mothers is an intimate explication of motherhood as the shoulders upon which children stand. Yes, it is a biographical sketch of the Black women who erected strong foundations for their would-be famous sons while going largely un-recognized themselves, but it's also a love letter to these three particular Black women; a scholarly rejection of the trope of Black woman as conquered victim; and a literary declaration that Black women know best how to survive in this broken world while actively mending it for everyone.
--Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult and Real American

Tubbs debuts with an engrossing triple biography of Alberta King, mother of Martin Luther King Jr.; Louise Little, mother of Malcom X; and Berdis Baldwin, mother of James Baldwin.... Tubbs skillfully draws parallels between each woman's story, and vividly captures the early years of the civil rights movement. This immersive history gives credit where it's long overdue.
--Publishers Weekly

Tubbs's connection to these women is palpable on the page -- as both a mother and a scholar of the impact Black motherhood has had on America. Through Tubbs's writing, Berdis, Alberta, and Louise's stories sing. Theirs is a history forgotten that begs to be told, and Tubbs tells it brilliantly.--Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning