Content And Community For Black Moms


This NYC mom keeps her boys happy and active with these local services and go-to products.

family of 4 in a park
Naima with her husband Sam, and their sons Gabe and Micah. Photo credit: Eric Bondoc

Being a mom is hard work, so once you find something that makes the whole enterprise of running a family a little easier, you want everyone to know about it. That’s why we’ve started a new feature, Things I Can’t Mom Without, to shout out the things that make momming easier.

We asked Naima Beckles, the 43-year-old doula and founder of maternal care outfit For Your Birth, what she uses to help raise her two sons, Gabe (10) and Micah (8). Here’s what she had to say.

1. Shea Moisture

This is a winner for everyone in my family. My kids and I each have different hair textures. The co-wash, leave-in conditioner and detangler are staples. We also love the Superfruit Complex Bubble Bath and Body Wash.

2. Trader Joe’s 

My husband does big monthly shops at TJs. My family loves the dried fruit (especially mangoes!), granola, cereals, cookies and corn-chip dippers

3. New Victory Theater 

We’ve been members of New Victory Theater for several years. This is the most affordable way to see a quality family show in NYC. Seats are great in the balcony and with a membership, ticket prices are less than going to the movies. The programming is perfect for kids and adults. 

4. Harlem Little League 

This league of volunteer coaches and Harlem families is so spirited. My kids have a lot of pride for the team and their local league. I enjoy how the elders in the community talk and congratulate my kids for playing when they’re in their uniforms. 


5. New York Public Library 

The New York Public Library has provided us with so many resources through the years. We enjoyed storytime when my kids were babies, then we moved up to art classes, LEGOS, and robotics. We always have a stack of books checked out and regularly use the automated reserve system. 

6. Sugar Hill Museum 

This beautiful gem of a museum is in our neighborhood, and when my youngest son was in preschool, we went to storytimes, attended concerts, and met up with friends for playdates. This is a super affordable and beautiful uptown destination. 

7. New York’s City and State Parks 

I have a very active family and since we live in a city apartment, we spend a lot of time outside. The city and state parks make it possible for my kids to swim, ice skate, skateboard, bike ride, dance at silent discos, play flag football, play chess, attend an after-school program, and do gymnastics all for free or at a low cost. 

8. Sugar Hill Creamery 

Sophisticated adult flavors and fun kid favorites make Sugar Hill Creamery a fun place for dessert.  (Editor’s note: An added bonus is that it is Black and family-owned by friend of mater mea Petrushka Bazin Larsen!)

9. Harlem Shake 

Many birthdays, team celebrations, and gatherings with friends and family have been had at Harlem Shake. This is my kids’ favorite place to eat out, hands down. 

10. Lands’ End 

I catch Lands’ End’s half-off winter sale each year for the most durable snow pants, boots, and coats. 

11. Jane Carter Solution Nourish and Shine

This product is brilliant and essential. My kids love the smell and will let me put it in their hair or on the faces (or both in one fell swoop!). And when I have Nourish and Shine on my body they tell me that I smell so good.

From l-r: Sam, Gabe, Naima’s mom Johan, Micah, and Naima
From l-r: Sam, Gabe, Naima’s mom Johan, Micah, and Naima

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