Fly Mamas: A Look At Modern Black Motherhood

Welcome BuzzFeed Folks! Thanks so much for coming to see more beautiful images of Black motherhood! Learn more about me on my About Me page. I’m a former single mother, kind of newlywed, pushy Bay Area girl. Get to know a sista!

Motherhood sure does look different than when I was a kid. Back then, the moms I knew all seemed so old! I could never imagine being their age and doing all of the grown up things that they did like drinking coffee, paying bills, and (since it was the eighties and all) smoking cigarettes. I still don’t smoke, but I’ve got the coffee and bill paying down, so I guess I’m a real mom, huh? It’s funny to think that there were no mom blogs or websites to show women how to be mothers. Most of the parenting books were focused on the physical care of children, while now there’s a definite shift to nurturing the soul.

Black mothers have long been the default head of so many families, and much of how kids turn out becomes a reflection on how she handles that responsibility. It’s a big job. Add in the pressure of raising children in a world filled with prejudice and injustice, the deeply challenging history of Blacks in America, and kids being kids and it’s hard not to recognize the strength of our mothers. So much of the foundation of my parenting values were shaped by the women who raised me. They were hardworking and did the best they could to love and provide for my cousins, siblings and me. It had to be difficult, especially in the tumultuous eighties and nineties, but they did it, and we all made it through.

It’s different for Black moms these days. We are a lot more privileged in many ways. More of us are educated and have great jobs. Our children go to private schools, and we have an overal better quality of life. Our forefathers, uh, mothers, paved the way for that. What does Black motherhood look like these days? It’s more carefree, for sure. There’s more intentional quality time being spent because there are more distractions. We’re forced to schedule time together or it won’t happen. We’re more lenient with our children, allowing for questions and providing opportunities for discovery and self-realization. Basically we’re letting our kids get away with loose lips more frequently! We’re trying more things like yoga (!), smoothies (!), and only buying organic food. We done got bougie, y’all. 😉

Regardless of the differences, we have to pay homage to the women that came before us. If it wasn’t for the Black mothers making sacrifices for us to go to college, try out new things, and pushing us through barriers, there wouldn’t be nearly as many fly mamas. So, what does modern Black motherhood look like?      

We encourage our children to be true to themselves.

A photo posted by Amiyrah (@amiyrahm) on


We aren’t making dinner every night. Sometimes Mama needs a break, so we head to the drive through. We aren’t ashamed, either.


Time off? We don’t need time off. We just strap a baby to our chest (and sometimes one on our back, too) and keep it moving. Modern Black mothers know how to hustle.

A photo posted by addye_b (@addye_b) on


We’re removing the pressure to excel and giving our children the space to enjoy learning.


We aren’t worried about spoiling our children. They will be loved on at all times. Period.


Instead of sending them away when they come around, we draw them closer to us, even during “me time”.

The real reason we take so many selfies is to sneak in snuggles.

A photo posted by Michelle (@divawithapurpose) on


We’re passionate about taking our children new places and introducing them to new experiences.

A photo posted by Makeba Giles (@melisasource) on

We understand that we are modeling everything for our children. From fashion to faith and everything in between, we don’t take our task lightly.


We engage enthusiastically with the things our kids love. We want to encourage them!

We understand the value of a vacation and are taking our kids on more of them. Our little ones are jetsetters!


Creating special memories is important. We get that, and never miss a moment to create a memory.

We know the challenges our children have to face in society, and we choose to be their bright spot and allies.


We aren’t worried about getting our hair wet or getting dirty. If it’s fun, we’re doing it.

A photo posted by Roshini Cope (@glamazini) on

We embrace technology and appreciate it for the way it helps us to connect with our kids.

A photo posted by LaShawn (@lashawnwiltz) on


We show affection, and lots of it, because we see how much it fills our children up.

A photo posted by Laila (@lailamccloud) on


We’re okay with being friends with our children. Yeah, we’re mom first, but we are definitely friends.


We know our children are watching us, so we make sure we smile. A lot.


We take our children places when they’re young. We want them to be used to having adventures!

  A photo posted by Nae Staggs (@ichoosethesun) on


We don’t mind getting goofy with our kids. It’s important that we have fun together.

A photo posted by thedudemom (@thedudemom) on


We show confidence in front of our children. We can’t teach them to love who they are if they don’t witness our acceptance of our own selves.

  A photo posted by Jasmine Banks (@djazzo) on

We are naturally beautiful, and know that outward beauty is influenced by the soul. 

A photo posted by Sheena Tatum (@sheenatatum) on


We are active and move! We don’t let being a mom stop us from being fit and staying fly.

  A photo posted by Deanna Underwood (@mommy_gaga) on

We never stay put. We’re always going somewhere with our little roadies next to us!

  We encourage our kids to have BIG dreams.

A photo posted by alejandra (@msalexandrav) on


Sometimes, though, we don’t encourage. We just take the time to BE with our kids.

  A photo posted by Tara Jefferson (@tarajefferson) on

No matter what we do or where we go, the fact remains the same—everything we do is for them.

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45 responses to “Fly Mamas: A Look At Modern Black Motherhood”

  1. Karla T Avatar

    Thank you so much for including me in this wonderful piece. I am honored.

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      You inspire me, Karla!

  2. Joyce Brewer (@MommyTalkShow) Avatar

    Tears. Seriously. All of this chocolatey-goodness in parenting is beautiful to see.
    Thank you for including me and A.J.

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      I had to put my favorite little reader! 🙂

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Back at you, Boo!

  3. Adanna Avatar

    This post is EVERYTHING! Inspiring, cute and well one I will come back to when my kids have me up agains the wall to see these gorgeous mamas and babies and that photo of dude mom dancing. Thanks for including my tribe. xo

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      That picture of y’all in the park? SOOOO SWEET! <3

  4. Mimi Avatar

    Oh Brandi!! Thank you so much for including me on this awesome round up of moms. We are excluded so often and it feels good to be recognized! Thank you!

    Now off to follow all of these awesome Mamas that I wasn’t already following!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      You are so welcome! Thank you for sharing your mama journey with folks! It’s inspiring!

  5. Danielle Avatar

    Awesome! So touching, accurate, and is the story of so many “fly mamas” I know. Thank you for sharing our joys of lives as African American mothers.

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you, Danielle! 🙂

  6. LaShawn Avatar

    This bought me to tears on a day when I felt like I was failing at motherhood! Thank you so much for including me!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Aww, Mama! You are doing alright! I feel like that sometimes, too, but we got this!

  7. K. Elizabeth (YUMMommy) Avatar

    Such a beautiful post celebrating Black motherhood! We’re more than just our children’s parents. We’re their teachers, biggest cheerleaders, role models and so much more. It’s so great to see all of these many faces of the modern Black mom.

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      We absolutely are those things, K. Elizabeth! Yes!!

  8. Sheena Tatum Avatar

    Every.single.quote had me about to fist bump the screen! So much truth. SO MUCH. Thank you for celebrating modern black motherhood and for featuring me and my sugas. *sniffle*

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      YES to mama truth! Fist bump back at you, Sister!

  9. Sarah Hughes Avatar

    A stunning look at motherhood!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you, Sarah! Such a sweet comment!

  10. Daenel T Avatar

    Absolutely love this post. What a lovely way to honor the mothers we were, we have become and we are becoming.

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you, Daenel! Other mothers really inspire me so much!

  11. Sherika W Avatar
    Sherika W

    This is a wonderful article!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you, Sherika!

  12. Jennifer aka Baby Making Machine Avatar

    I was tearing up reading this and seeing all this BEAUTY. How do I know so many of these faces. And yes! The quotes. Just when I’m feeling like I’m lacking (because goodness we have those days too) I read this pic me up. Thank you! Seeing myself and my baby girl was such a sweet surprise too. Love ya mama.

  13. bernetta Avatar

    Love all the love in those images. So cool I know so many of the moms.

  14. Nichole Avatar

    A beautiful compilation to read. You mamas are paving the way in ways that will be even more widespread than what your mothers did for you. The people that you influence will be (and are) exponentially *more* than those women of 20, 30, 40 years ago.

  15. Jalyssa Avatar

    Beautiful mamas!

  16. Trina - Baby Shopaholic Avatar

    Great post! Thank for including me! XO

  17. Heather H Avatar

    This made my week! This was so beautiful:) So honored to know several of these mamas and call them friends. LOVE IT!

  18. MJ Avatar

    Late last week a friend mentioned me being on this list. I had no idea as new motherhood plus toddler motherhood has me consumed. I thank you for including me. It’s been hard adjusting but see all these beautiful moms rocking it lets me know I’m doing just fine. I am inspired, motivated and encouraged by so many on this list in real life and in my online travels.

  19. daphne r Avatar
    daphne r

    I’m a 2nd Mom to my 3rd cousin. She is 6 months.

  20. Stephanie Avatar

    I found your article through Buzzfeed and I’m glad I came over to check it out.

    You’re right, we got to pay homage to our mothers! They may not have taken us on all the adventures we take with our kids and given us all the freedoms we give our children now, they must have done something right because their training helped us become who we are now.

    I hope to strike some kind of balance between new school and old school with my children.

  21. Kenesha Avatar

    I absolutely LOVE this! Such a beautiful look at black motherhood and being a mama of 3 rambunctious boys, I could totally relate!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you, Kenesha! Three boys??? I know your house is full of laughter and fun! <3

  22. Kescherer Avatar

    I’m late to party post but I’m glad I got to read it tonight. I’m the older, 80’s MTV first video watching era with my brothers, but raising my daughter today I’ve tried to follow my mother and grandmother’s examples. Yes it’s different in 2015 but being 12 in 1982 wasn’t bad either. Funny with all the technology my Little Miss is exposed to, she’s very emotionally attached to me, more so than I was with my mother at that age. Keep blogging and as my ATL mommy talk blogger said below/above my comment, keep bringing all that chocolatey mommy goodness!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      I agree with this! I’m so thankful for the emotional attachment. I feel extremely close to my daughter, too! Thanks so much for the comment!

  23. Taby Avatar

    Found you via HuffPost Women; this is beautiful!! <3

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you so much!

  24. Sparkle S Avatar
    Sparkle S

    Awesome post. I totally relate. thank you!!
    Black moms rock!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Thank you so much! We DO rock!

  25. @MsEnglish1 Avatar

    Peace Sis! Thanks so much for posting this. I’m a new Mom, only 27 weeks along. I’ve noticed that melanated Motherhood is under-represented in the majority of mainstream imaging, including media, pregnancy apps and baby shower invitations (by design of course). I love that you’ve captured something that we’re known to do best and shared it via your website – and especially with this post. Thanks for sharing images that encourage our Sisters that Motherhood is not the horrible experience that American society wants us to believe it is. Peace, Love & Light!

    1. brandijeter Avatar

      Welcome to motherhood! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. Be encouraged, and get ready for the most important, most fulfilling job of your life!

  26. Shannon Avatar

    I love this beautiful post. Thank you for your inspiring blog. Great writing, provocative topics.

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