Issue No. 56WASHINGTON, D.C.
Motherhood was instantaneous and unexpected for pastor and theologian Theresa S. Thames; when her sister passed away in November 2011 on Thames’ 32nd birthday, she decided to raise her nephew as her own. But while she was adjusting to her new life as “TT Mommie,” an affectionately given nickname to describe her new role, Thames was hit again and again with two more tragedies.
She tells mater mea how she found her way as a grieving and newly single working mom.
Issue No. 55ATLANTA, GEORGIA
Denene Millner is a textbook example of what can happen when opportunity meets hustle: The journalist, author, and founder of Black parenting website MyBrownBaby has worked her way from newspapers to magazines and even the big- and small-screens after a few of her co-written books got turned into movies (hello, Think Like A Man!)
But there’s no textbook on how to actually make working motherhood, well, work. Millner talks to mater mea about the sacrifices she’s made to stay on her grind while raising two confident daughters.
Issue No. 54BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
Many beauty aficionados are focused on turning back the clock or staying frozen in time, but Jodie Patterson, 45, is all about celebrating evolution and change.
Patterson, the founder of Doobop, a brand that has become one of Oprah’s Favorite Things and mother of five children, ages 6 to 22, spoke with mater mea about what drives her: creating a new definition of beauty, supporting her family, and championing a cause that hits close to home: transgender rights.
Issue No. 53PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
While we imagine many people have been troubled by the rising number of Black people slain by police officers, it’s safe to say that few are as anxious about the loss of life as Black mothers.
Psychologist and photographer Elmeka Henderson’s fears for her young son Chris—and her desire for experiences beyond their hometown of Philly—led her to decide on a life abroad in Tokyo. Henderson tells mater mea how the family of two landed in Japan and what it means to raise a carefree Black boy abroad.
Issue No. 52LONDON, ENGLAND
Jessica Huie, MBE has founded two businesses—a PR firm and Color blind cards, the UK’s first multiethnic greeting card company—that have garnered a lot of attention and support. (Even the Queen of England is a fan!) Yet the 34-year-old entrepreneur and mom of two remains incredibly centered and down to earth. Her ability to stay humble is a result of some hard and unexpected lessons she learned at a young age. Huie tells mater mea how she found the strength and maturity to realize her potential after an emotionally taxing early pregnancy.
Issue No. 51SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Angela Benton is one of the more well-known names in the ongoing struggle to bring more diversity to Silicon Valley’s tech and startup worlds. She’s helped minority entrepreneurs raise more than $17 million through her ventures, a fact that becomes all the more impressive when you consider that at 15, she was pregnant and facing a lot of judgment for deciding to keep her daughter. Benton tells mater mea why she has always followed her gut when it comes to parenting and entrepreneurship.
Issue No. 50MONTCLAIR, NEW JERSEY
Kuae Kelch Mattox left her high-profile media position at NBC in New York City for the suburbs of New Jersey to raise her three children, Teddi (17), Cole (15), and Evan (11), along with her husband. But, she tells mater mea, after more than 10 years of being out of the rat race, she’s ready to bring the lessons she’s learned back into the workforce.