book hack

The Three Mothers

Anna Malaika Tubbs

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

This book is an in-depth look into the lives, careers, and motherhood of Louise Little, Alberta King, and Berdis Baldwin – the women who raised three of the civil rights movement's most famous men.


The Three Mothers

The Three Mothers

by Anna Malaika Tubbs


You know their names – Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, and Malcolm X. Their work and legacies shaped the civil rights movement of the 20th century and carry on today. But how about these names: Alberta, Berdis, and Louise?

These are the women who shaped the minds, sensibilities, and educations of their sons Martin Luther, James, and Malcom. Their remarkable stories have been mostly overlooked and their impact on the men who led a national movement largely unexamined. They were educated, resilient, fearless women whose influence on the lives of their children comes into focus in The Three Mothers.

Through rich and detailed historical context, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs brings these women out of the shadows. The Three Mothers illuminates the fullness of their lives at a moment in time when being a Black woman in America was, arguably, at its hardest.

Favorite quote

Three mothers brought their children into the world during such a time in American history when resources were scarce and racism was rampant. It was also a time when Black voices continued to rise and demand the rights they deserved.

- Anna Malaika Tubbs

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