Mothers and daughters have been written about, criticized, publicized, condemned, and praised for a long time. As more and more material becomes available on mother-daughter relationships, it becomes apparent that being a mother and being a daughter means different things to different people depending on race, economics, social status and blood type. This paper will explore the meaning of being a mother and being a daughter by combining all of these independent variables. A definition of motherhood and daughterhood will be clearer, however, as experience will tell us, not everyone can be categorized, or even explained.
In "Choosing Consciousness", Elizabeth Minnich describes mothers as:
".The people who take day-by-day care of children, the ones whose lives are intricately involved with their children, the ones who keep the children safe, who wrestle with their souls and fight with them and love them and try to heal them and give up on them and give in to them" (Minnich, 195).
In her opinion, as well as many other authors we have read, a mother does not need to be blood related. She only needs to care for her child, be there for her child, and love her child. She is the dominant woman force in her child's life, influencing, teaching and setting an example for her child.
This idea is reflected in other cultures as well. In black communities, especially, a mother is not necessarily one who gave birth to her daughter. She is the person who sets examples for the daughter and is there to help coach the daughter through the trials and tribulations of life.
"Biological mothers or bloodmothers are expected to care for their children. But African and African-American communities have also recognized that vesting one person with full responsibility for mothering a child may not be wise if possible" (Collins, 47).
Collins believes that in order to be a mother, you only need to care for a child, and this idea has been cen...