I’ve been reading a book called “The Three Mothers,” a fascinating discovery of the Black women who were mothers to Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin, three prominent Black civil rights leaders in a United States reckoning with racial apartheid. Unfortunately, there is very little information documented about these women who raised a freedom movement, but their spirit is evident through the lives of their sons. 

I just finished another book, “Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World.” Many of these women are also mothers, who describe the guilt, the risk and danger, and the passion of truth-telling journalism while also parenting the next generation. Last week was World Press Freedom Day, highlighting the importance of journalism in the face of the climate crisis. This year’s events also made space for the at least 97 journalists who have been killed in Gaza since 7 October, a disheartening reminder of the harrowing task of truth-telling. 

During the time I spent in Colombia, I learned of the Colombian mothers who took to the streets in the face of decades of civil war to declare that “we do not birth children for war.” Mothers who have lost their children to war, mothers who have organized and negotiated with armed actors, and mothers who refuse to accept a violent world, but instead are actively creating and mothering a new world into existence.

This week I saw Hind’s mother pop up on my screen. Hind Rajab, a six-year-old child who was trapped alone in a car after her family members were murdered and was eventually also killed by the Israeli forces, now has a hall named after her at Columbia University. Hind’s mother, Wissam Hamadah, was moved by the commemoration of her daughter but wished Hind could be alive to witness this student movement. Wissam’s message to the world is, “Wake up! Hind is not Palestine’s first martyr. There are over 15,000 children martyred. Why should any other child live what Hind experienced. Wake up!”

Sunday is Mother’s Day in many places around the world. May we all live into the spirit of mothering, embodying the strength of these mothers and committing to nurture the next generation into a world of justice, kindness, and peace.

Picture of Hannah Redekop

Hannah Redekop

CPT Communications Associate

Send Hannah a note: peacemakers@cpt.org

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