Terry McMillan is one of my favorite authors. I’m not one for favorites, usually liking a variety of anything. But Ms. McMillan stands out for honing a very distinctive Black woman sound to her words. Her characters are usually strong, impressive Black women who stick to their guns; good, bad or indifferent. The heroine of aptly named Mama, Ms. Mildred is a whole firecracker and then some. I find myself rooting for her at her lowest points and understanding where she comes from even if it’s self serving. I love this book for it’s immense dialogue on America and Black America as both backdrop and scene setter. I can visualize the different eras and seeing rural Michigan in the 50’s as well as the sun drenched California scenery of the 60’s as well. Mama is an ode to Black womanhood and motherhood as well as the importance of your own unique journey. I think what comes up a lot with all of the characters is how their paths are often set years before they grow up and to see the root of behaviors and end destinations. Mama Mildred is at once unapologetic but also fiercely protective and loving to a fault. She’s proud and bold and she pays homage to the legions of Black women before her and after her who found a way without having no way at all. I recommend this book always and forever.

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