From The Root:
For generations, The Mommy Wars have largely skipped black women. For most of us, staying at home to raise our children full-time was never a choice. Our families’ survival depended on our wages—often earned from nurturing and caring for white families. With the rise of a post-civil rights generation, a critical mass of high-powered black women like the Princeton and Harvard-trained first lady Michelle Obama, have more options than ever. After gaining the educational credentials our mothers and grandmothers could only have dreamed of, many of us have exulted and rejoiced in having the choice to stay at home and raise our own children—a decision celebrated by black stay-at-home mothers’ groups like “Mocha Moms.”
As Michelle prepares to move to the White House to become “mom in chief,” the always racially-charged Mommy Wars have reached new heights. In a joint effort with NPR’s daily talk show Tell Me More, The Root has brought together four accomplished mothers—Rebecca Walker, Jolene Ivey, Leslie Morgan Steiner and Anna Perez—to share their takes on Michelle’s choices. With viewpoints that are funny, brash and bracing, the four women bring controversial and conflicting perspectives that are sure to spark spirited and downright-heated discussions about Michelle’s—and all women’s—choices.
When Michelle Obama prioritized her life over her career in a widely viewed television interview, I cheered. Feminism’s slippery promise of diversity has long been built around white centrism, its monopoly by women over 50, its de facto placement of the rest of us in the margins. Michelle’s rise challenges that centrism. She so embodies feminist goals that she surpasses them. How will white feminists deal with that?