What’s up with the name of the group?
The term “baby-mother” first appeared in print in Jamaica during the mid-1960s. Originally, it was invented as a way to succinctly define the relationship between unmarried parents. The term rose to prominence in the U.S. during the 1990s and has since become an often racialized pejorative. Though used humorously or ironically by married couples, it is more often used to describe former couples who have children in common.
Since the ’90s, “baby mama” has become a trope that exists somewhere along the “welfare queen”/”hood rat” spectrum. It can connote sexually irresponsible behavior, low self-esteem, or promiscuity/immorality.
One of the goals of our organization is to move beyond this oversimplified classification and to engage the real women who find themselves unmarried with children. For ourselves and for the community at large, we are working to humanize a populace that is often pathologized.
How can I join the Beyond Baby Mamas community?
At present, we’re a social media-based organization. To join us, “like” our Facebook page and begin engaging in the ongoing discourse there. Follow our Tumblr and Twitter accounts to weigh in on the topics posted. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notices whenever a new edition of our weekly webcast, Conversations with Single Women of Color, is available for viewing.
No formal “membership” is required, and there are no fees associated with this organization.
Does Beyond Baby Mamas target a particular age group?
Though all mothers of color are welcome to join, regardless of age, our target demographic is women over the age of 21.
Do I have to be a woman of color (or a woman at all) to join the Beyond Baby Mamas community?
No! You don’t have to be a part of our target demographic to join our ranks. We welcome single mothers parenting multiracial children; single fathers of color; and anyone who considers himself an ally or advocate for the single mothers in their lives.
What is the Conversations with Single Mothers of Color (CSMC) series?
Conversations with Single Mothers of Color (CSMC) is a webcast during which our founder, Stacia L. Brown, discusses a different topic each week with an invited guest panel. Our first webcast, Statistics Are Not Our Stories, debuted on Sunday, September 23, 2012.
How can I join a CSMC panel?
You can contact us via any of our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr) to volunteer as a panelist. You can also email us at beyondbabymamas [at] gmail dot com. You will receive more information about that week’s webcast topic and instructions about how to log into the video chat.
Can I join more than CSMC one panel?
Yes! Panelists are welcome to appear more than once on a panel, though priority is given to new voices. We want as many mothers to be able to participate as possible, so panel selection is subject to availability.
How do I find out what will be discussed on each CSMC webcast?
Typically, we announce each week’s webcast topic on Mondays with a Call for Panelists here at our website, as well as on our Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages. If you see a topic about which you’re particularly enthusiastic, contact us as soon as possible!
What equipment do I need to join a CSMC panel?
You’ll need a computer, laptop, or tablet with webcam and microphone. You’ll also need to be able to download the Google+ Hangouts plug-in, which hosts our webcasts.
Does Beyond Baby Mamas have any meetups or in-person events planned?
Not yet. Our goal is to strengthen our online community before scheduling our first in-person meetup. It will likely take place in the Maryland, DC, or Virginia area in early 2013. More information will be available soon.