mater mea - Celebrating Motherhood and Women of Color

Things That Gave Us Life: The Little Hearts Edition

Photo credit: Flickr user  Sharon Graphics

Photo credit: Flickr user Sharon Graphics

Things That Gave Us Life: The Little Hearts Edition

Words: Ashley Poag

Our weekly roundup of the best things that happened online and IRL.

Boris Kodjoe Nicole Ari Parker Family

Actor Boris Kodjoe—best known for his role as Damon Carter on the TV series Soul Food—made the Internet say “awwww” when he posted the sweetest birthday letter ever to his 10-year-old daughter Sophie. Sophie battles with spina bifida, a neurological disease that affects the spinal cord. Kodjoe let his daughter know much she means to him:

 "To My Little Heart.
The day I met your mother I knew I was ready to be a man. The day I met you I became one. You’ve shown me what true strength and courage is and you taught me that the love of faith and the faith in love is one and the same..."

Photo credit: Marc Bushelle

Photo credit: Marc Bushelle

Most of us enjoyed playing dress-up as little girls, but did any of us dress-up with a purpose? As a fun history lesson, 5-year-old Lily Bushelle’s parents are teaching her about black heroines by dressing her up as figures such as Toni Morrison, Josephine Baker, and Bessie Coleman. What a smart and adorable way to celebrate African-American history! 

The words I've been writing can't wait to be told.....😘

A photo posted by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on

Alicia Keys has been sharing how much motherhood has inspired her on Instagram. We can’t wait to hear the music she’s been writing since the birth of her second son Genesis.



mater mea contributing writer Meilan Carter-Gilkey was faced with a real challenge when her 5-year-old son Mateo said, “I want my skin to be white because I don’t want to be brown.” She chose to impose a “blackout,” similar to what we saw in social media last week, to teach her son self-love.


The evolution of complex black female characters in television is happening right before our eyes, thanks to Shonda Rhimes. The Riveter magazine explored how other black female character types, specifically black girl nerds, are evolving in online media.


Being a mom naturally means you’re busy, which means complicated natural hair styles that take half a day to pull off are just out of the question. Thankfully Black Girl Long Hair has a solution with their 8 Quick Natural Hairstyles for Moms On the Go post. (Black Girl Long Hair's founder Leila Noelliste knows from busy, as you can find out in our feature with her.)


This past Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the historic march across the the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. People of all races gathered to honor the 500+ Civil Rights activists who stood against immeasurable violence to fight for African-American voter equality. President Barack Obama joined commemoration ceremonies by declaring, "Fifty years from Bloody Sunday, our march is not yet finished.” Among the people celebrating was 103 year-old, Amelia Boynton Robinson. Robinson was one of the original organizers for the voting rights movement. A photo of her beaten unconscious during the march has become an iconic representation of “Bloody Sunday.”


Some sense of justice has finally started to arise in the midst of all the tragedy in Ferguson, Missouri: Three top officials including Police Chief Thomas Jackson announced their resignation.


Ashley Poag is mater mea's intern and an aspiring mutlimedia journalist.