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Strange Fruit: How Aunts Are The Unsung Heroes Of Black Families

aunt and niece
Robert Couse-Baker

Mothering within Black communities can take many forms. Dr. Patricia Hill-Collins coined the term “other mother” to describe a woman who cares for a child that is not biologically her own.

In many Black families, the role of the aunt fits this function. Sometimes aunts are blood or marriage relatives but many of them are chosen family – mom’s best friend from college or the elderly neighbor down the street who looks after the community’s children. She can serve as a quiet confidant or a gentle authority figure.

This week we spoke writer Brandon T. Harden about his Philadelphia Inquirer article, “They may not get a holiday, but ‘aunts’ are the backbone of the black community.”

Later in the show we talk with freelance journalist Sonia Weiser about the troubling financial realities of New York City’s Legal Aid attorneys – many of who have to moonlight as ride share drivers or bartenders to make ends meet – as highlighted in her New York Times piece, “Lawyers by Day, Uber Drivers and Bartenders by Night.”

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Strange Fruit: How Aunts Are The Unsung Heroes Of Black Families

Jaison Gardner is co-creator and co-host of Louisville Public Media's "Strange Fruit" podcast. His work focuses on race, gender, and LGBTQ issues.