The Three Mothers


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


Anna Malaika Tubbs

The Three Mothers by Anna Malaika Tubbs

In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black mother­hood by telling the story of the women who raised and shaped three of America’s most pivotal heroes: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin.


Through Anna Malaika Tubb’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

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

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. Brittany Packnett Cunningham,
host of Undistracted and founder of Love & Power

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

An intimate explication of motherhood as the shoulders upon which children stand. Julie Lythcott-Haims, New York Times bestselling author of
How to Raise an Adult and Real American
Anna Malaika Tubbs

About the Author


Anna Malaika Tubbs is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociol­ogy at Cambridge University, where she also earned an MA in Multi­dis­cipli­nary Gender Studies. Her undergraduate degree in Anthro­pology is from Stanford University. A passionate writer and speaker on issues of gender and race, Anna is an educator and a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant outside the academy. Anna has written for For Harriet, Darling Magazine, Huffington Post, and Blavity. As the first partner of Stockton, California (2016–2020), she co-authored the first Report on the Status of Women in Stockton. Anna was born in Albu­querque, New Mexico and spent her childhood in Dubai, Estonia, Sweden, Mexico, and Azer­baijan. She lives in North­ern California with her husband Michael and their son Michael Malakai.

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Anna Malaika Tubbs


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