The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation Audiobook, by Anna Malaika Tubbs Play Audiobook Sample

The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation Audiobook

The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation Audiobook, by Anna Malaika Tubbs Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Anna Malaika Tubbs Publisher: Macmillan Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 4.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 3.38 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: February 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781250791528

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

53:17 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

40 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

31:38 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

This program is read by the author. Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin's son James, about Alberta King's son Martin Luther, and Louise Little's son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them. In her groundbreaking and essential debut The Three Mothers, scholar Anna Malaika Tubbs celebrates Black motherhood by telling the story of the three women who raised and shaped some of America's most pivotal heroes. Berdis Baldwin, Alberta King, and Louise Little were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women. These three extraordinary women passed their knowledge to their children with the hope of helping them to survive in a society that would deny their humanity from the very beginning—from Louise teaching her children about their activist roots, to Berdis encouraging James to express himself through writing, to Alberta basing all of her lessons in faith and social justice. These women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced. These three mothers taught resistance and a fundamental belief in the worth of Black people to their sons, even when these beliefs flew in the face of America’s racist practices and led to ramifications for all three families’ safety. The fight for equal justice and dignity came above all else for the three mothers. These women, their similarities and differences, as individuals and as mothers, represent a piece of history left untold and a celebration of Black motherhood long overdue. A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books "The Three Mothers is a fascinating exploration into the lives of three women ignored by history after raising sons who helped shape a movement. By tracing the intellectual, political, and emotional strands of each woman’s life, Anna Malaika Tubbs uncovers hidden complexities within black motherhood that illuminate our understanding of the past while also shedding light on the overlooked contributions of black women today. An eye-opening, engrossing read!"—Brit Bennet, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half and The Mothers "Anna's connection to these women is palpable on the page — as both a mother and a scholar of the impact Black motherhood has had on America. Through Anna's writing, Berdis, Alberta, and Louise's stories sing. Theirs is a history forgotten that begs to be told, and Anna tells it brilliantly."— Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning

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“An intimate narrative that aims to link not only Little, King, and Baldwin but all Black mothers...The intersections she highlights are beautiful.”

— New York Times Book Review 


  • “[A] dynamic blend of biography and manifesto.”

    — New Yorker
  • “A great examination of a rarely-told triple story you'll love.”

    — Miami Times
  • “Reframes African American history, supplying the female Black experience as a much-needed perspective.”

    — Washington Post


  • A New York Times Book Review pick of Best Books Now in Paperback
  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick
  • A Working Mother Magazine Pick of Best Books of 2021
  • An NPR Best Book of the Year
  • A Bustle Pick of the Month
  • TheSkimm's Pick of the Month 
  • A Business Insider Pick of Best History Books Written by Women
  • Among longlisted titles for NPR Best Book of the Year, 2021

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About Anna Malaika Tubbs

Anna Malaika Tubbs is a Cambridge PhD candidate in sociology and a Bill and Melinda Gates Cambridge Scholar. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology, she received a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge in multidisciplinary gender studies. Outside of the academy she is an educator; a consultant on diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the First Partner of Stockton, California.