Motherhood : portraits of five single black mothers and how they influence the educational success of their daugthers



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There is conflicting evidence on Black parenting, specifically Black mothers as it relates to their educational participation in their children’s lives. This study focuses on the intersection of Black parenting, specifically single Black mothers, their Black experience in society, and their participation in the educational experiences of their daughters. There is a need to explore the experiences, behaviors, and actions of single Black mothers as they raise their daughters from early childhood to high school. For example, some research depicts Black mothers as uncaring about their children’s education. The purpose of this study is to examine how these single Black mothers educate and care for their daughters to provide additional insight. The following areas of research were highlighted: the Black experience, the Black family, cultural roles of Black women, the Black mother’s standpoint, and the culture of acting white. The concept addressed in this study is the resiliency of the Black mothers. The statement of the problem is drawn from motherwork, a theoretical framework that looks at distinct ways Black mothers navigate the education experiences of their children. The research questions and qualitative methodological approach of portraiture is different from traditional qualitative work, which focuses on the goodness of the research participant, instead of the failure of research participants. Portraiture paints a portrait of the research participant with words and allows for in-depth dialogue. Some current research depicts single mothers in a negative perspective. This study provides additional insight on how single Black mothers educate and care for their daughters. This additional information may be applicable to all parents and educators and serves as another source about motherhood for children being raised from early childhood to high school.