Ever since I was a girl, my mom has taught me three life lessons: hold your ground, do not let anyone tell you that you are not worthy and finally, speak your mind. With these three mantras in the back of my mind, I’ve lived my life thus far. Speaking of mom’s, we know someone who started a blog to only feature the great moms in our lives.
Rey Khan is the founder of Rad Brown Moms – a platform for women of color to share stores about their hardworking, inspirational and loving mothers. Rad Brown Moms is a growing blog, a destination where we can share pictures or words of wisdom from women who raised us. Rey tells us about her journey before and after starting Rad Brown Moms:
About Rad Brown Moms:
Behind every successful family of colour is a rad brown mom! Working two jobs, packing rad lunch boxes, dishing out spicy abuse to telephone/internet providers for hidden surcharges, rad brown moms are society’s unsung superheroes. Submit photos and stories of your rad brown moms here.”
How did coming from a family of color inspire you to start Rad Brown Moms and pursue this blog?
For as long as I remember, I have always been in awe of my mother. She was unlike all the other women who surrounded me in my tiny hometown of Peshawar Pakistan.
Her passion for women’s rights and bodily autonomy primed me from an early age to demand my rights and space in this male dominated world. What impressed me the most about her was her blatant disregard for conservative attitudes and values.
‘Don’t tell me what I can or cannot do’ was her mantra when I was growing up.
When I talk about my Rad Brown Mom at feminist gatherings, onlookers are in awe. Muslim women, especially those from tribal areas, are always portrayed as submissive and backwards, so hearing that my Rad Brown Mom is supportive of LGBTIQ rights and is pro-choice is always a shock to the system.
Growing up with the whitewashed, vanilla Disney-moms on TV, in magazines, in movies, I began to realize how little there was out there about women like my mother. This is why I started Rad Brown Moms, because the world needs to see real representations of Brown motherhood.”
What are your goals for Rad Brown Moms?
Rad Brown Moms was a spur of the moment creation, put together ten minutes before I had to leave for an exam. However, the idea took root in my mind for a few years. I always wanted to share stories about the wonderful and inspiring brown women in my life and to showcase the rainbow of personalities that exist amongst mothers of color. I found such representation lacking in mainstream media and therefore my main goal for RadBrownMoms is to paint a picture of Brown Motherhood that doesn’t fall back on stereotypes and tropes.”
Where do you see Rad Brown Moms in the next 5 years?
It’s hard to predict the success of Internet projects, but I am very hopeful that through our followers, Rad Brown Moms can create an archive of memories that will better reflect the lives and times of those brown women who have helped shaped our generation and provide a clearer reflection of what brown motherhood means.”
What advice would you give young women to keep their culture alive even if they are not surrounded by it?
It has never been an easy task staying true to one’s culture when the world around you is hell bent on convincing you that it is only beautiful if the Western world acknowledges it to be so. Just remember, your culture is a gift from the past. Only you get to decide how relevant it is to your life and how best to accommodate it into your daily workings. The rest will fall into place as you come into your own as a human being.”
Any advice for young women who have a goal in mind?
I will leave them with advice my own Rad Brown Mom gives me when the chips are down: ‘The beauty of fulfilling your dream is not simply getting to the destination. It is the sweat, blood and tears shed along the way for this is what truly transforms you into a person worthy of living that dream.'”
Check out BG Vaidehi Mujumdar’s story on Rad Brown Moms of how the perception of her mother changed as she became older: “Changes In Perception: To Those Women Who Came Before Us.”
To read more beautiful stories about colored mothers, check out Rad Brown Mom!
All photos are provided by Rey Khan.