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Child Please

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We are different—white moms and me. Very different. More or less kindred as women, but as mothers we are disparate souls. Snaps and cusses of Twitter-trending ‘Stuff black moms say’ don’t even scratch the surface.” —from Child, Please

We saw this clearly recently on camera for the nation to see

One Baltimore mother was caught on video dragging out her son who was taking part in the Baltimore riots.

Toya Graham was shown on television smacking her 16-year-old son — who was dressed all in black — for taking part in the riots against police and businesses Monday afternoon and dragging him away. Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts even acknowledged the mother’s actions during a press conference early Tuesday morning.

“And if you saw in one scene, you had one a mother who grabbed their child who had a hood on his head and she started smacking him on the head because she was so embarrassed. I wish I had more parents who took charge of their kids tonight,” Batts said.

That is the voice and character of Ms Caviness’s book. In this wise and funny memoir, Ylonda Gault Caviness describes her journey to the realization that all the parenting advice she was obsessively devouring as a new parent (and sharing with the world as a parenting expert on NPR, Today, in The Huffington Post, and elsewhere) didn’t mean scratch compared to her mama’s old school wisdom as a strong black woman and mother.

With child number one, Caviness set her course: to give her children everything she had. Child number two came along and she patiently persisted. But when her third kid arrived, she was finally so exhausted that she decided to listen to what her mother had been saying to her for years: Give them everything they want, and there’ll be nothing left of you. In Child, Please, Caviness describes the road back to embracing a more sane—not to mention loving—way of raising children. Her mother had it right all along.

She takes you on an intimate journey into her life where she holds you at her side as she recalls the ups and downs of womanhood, motherhood and ever changing adulthood.

Why Should You Read This: The humor and honesty will brighten your day

Where You Can Get This: Available wherever books are sold.

Mother’s Day Must Read: ‘Child, Please How Mama’s Old School Lessons Helped Me…  was originally published on

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