Continuing our Amplify Black Voices series, we share a short review of Candice Braithwaite’s non-fiction book, I Am Not Your Baby Mother.August 8, 2020
Review by Lisa Clark, Project Manager, Scottish PEN
I Am Not Your Baby Mother is a ‘part memoir, part manifesto’ on black motherhood in the UK, written by blogger and influencer Candice Braithwaite. The book explores the problematic media portrayal of motherhood as homogenously white and middle class and calls for greater diversity in the experiences of motherhood we celebrate and see represented.
From highlighting the increased risks to black women during pregnancy (including that black women are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women) to addressing racism at the school gates and pondering the implications of using an inherently unfair private school system to her own daughter’s advantage, Candice is incredibly open and honest about her experiences.
The book also considers gentrification and violence in her beloved London, mental health stigma and generational trauma, colourism and the sexualisation of black girls from a young age, placing Candice’s experience of motherhood in a broader, yet entangled context of prejudice and inequality in the UK.
I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Candice, and am so glad I experienced the book in this way. The value of hearing notes of sarcasm and humour in her telling really brought the book to life and made me feel like I knew Candice. I would highly recommend this book and would encourage people to check out Candice’s Make Motherhood Diverse initiative.