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, in
As Collins put it, "Adhering to these standards brings the danger of the lowered self-esteem of internalized oppression, one that, if passed on from mother to daughter, provides a powerful mechanism for controlling African-American Communities" (Collins, 45). This idea is reflected in other cultures as well. However, a kinship with a mother is the most natural occurrence ever. In black communities, especially, a mother is not necessarily one who gave birth to her daughter. It is not only this fallacy that the media has created that is the problem. less than we (who usually try to hard) fear the children need and often both more and less than we can accept because it hurts to love unreservedly). being a stepmother means loving the children more than our society expects. Instead of being nurtured, Ellen took care of all the women in her life until she found someone to ultimately fill the mother role in her life. Susan Walters also discusses the concept of mothers enabling their daughters to grow into women, while sending them off to experience independence and break ties with their family. Walters discusses the effects that the media has on influencing our opinions of mothers and daughters. She explored both the mother and the daughter roles in her witty narrative. We need to create our own definition of mother and emphasize it to our daughter. The relationship that a daughter has with her mother should be one of the most formative ones of her life, and she should embrace the experience without the pressure to run away from it. Community outreach and the caring of adjacent women have been very important to the raising of daughters in black communities.