Yesterday morning, I, along with about 50 other people, held a vigil outside of Division 17 of Cook County Jail, the division where pregnant women and women struggling with addictions and mental illnesses are incarcerated. Hosted by Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration, we remembered and showed love to mothers who are not able to physically parent their children because they have been disappeared by the state. Mothers who have experienced incarceration and separation from their children, and a mom whose son was killed by CPD shared their experiences and thoughts on pushing back against incarceration and police violence. It was a really moving experience, being in community with people committed to ending state violence against Black people.
Tomorrow, too many Black mothers will celebrate their first mother’s day without their children, who have been murdered by police.
Tomorrow, too many Black mothers will either not spend mother’s day with their children at all, or only interact with their children in jails and prisons through physical barriers.
Tomorrow, too many Black mothers will spend mother’s day without their children because they have been stolen by child welfare.
Tomorrow, too many women will have their yearly reminder that the choice of motherhood was stolen from them by the state through forced sterilization.
Tomorrow, Marissa Alexander will celebrate mother’s day with her children, the first in five years without a 60 year prison sentence haunting her.
As we celebrate the mothers and other parents/caregivers in our lives tomorrow, let us remember the mothers for whom this day will be especially hard.