Anna Malaika Tubbs, author of “The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation,” discusses how the teachings of Alberta King, Louise Little, and Berdis Baldwin led their sons to become leaders in the fight for racial equality.
On how Alberta King’s social activism prepared Martin Luther King, Jr. to be a change agent: “She was raised by the leaders of Ebenezer Baptist Church. So, she's raised believing that if you are a religious leader, you must also stand against injustice. You must stand for the oppressed, stand for the poor. If you have the privilege of an education, you use that to advance freedom causes forward. It's not just for yourself. It's for something that you can do for your larger community, for your world. She participates in marches and in boycotts. So even though she's not calling it nonviolence, these are the exact same strategies that she teaches her children, teaches MLK, and that he then tells the whole world about, and kind of adds his own experiences.”
On the many ways in which Alberta King, Louise Little, and Berdis Baldwin gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement: “It's really important to me to celebrate their many, many differences and this incredibly rich diversity that exists in their stories. But also, I am celebrating what they symbolize in terms of this class of Black women, this generation of Black women that were right before the Civil Rights Movement and how they were able to engender the Civil Rights Movement, not only through birthing children, but in the many other ways in which they're giving life through their activism, through their writing, through their teaching. We see it in examples with Louise being the activist who she was and the writer that she was, with Berdis and the writing that she is able to produce, and with Alberta being this teacher beyond her family. They impacted so many lives.”
This episode was recorded on January 10, 2022