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6 Emotional Mother’s Day Posts From Celebrities We Love

Tracee Ellis Ross said it best: "Honor the mother within each of us."

Culture & Entertainment

Mother's Day might have been yesterday (May 9) but we're still in awe of these celebratory posts courtesy of our favorite celebrity moms and their loved ones. Moms of all kinds—biological or not—are superhuman. These mamas below have inspired us with their resilience, beauty, and determined spirit this year, and sharing these messages is proof of that. Let us take their wisdom beyond a "Happy Mother's Day" post and as Tracee Ellis Ross put it "honor the mother within each of us."

Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle wrote on Instagram:

"My journey to motherhood was long, arduous and at many times extremely painful. Mother's Day will always be a challenging day to celebrate for me. I know I'm not alone in this feeling. For many reasons, so many of us have a rough time today and to these good people, I send all my love, light and compassion. To all the Moms, Stepmoms, Bonus Mom's, Folks who Mother those that need it, Grandma's, House Mothers, I celebrate you today and everyday. Be good to yourselves."

The 45-year-old actress has been vocal via social media and in her 2017 book, We're Going to Need More Wine, about her struggles with infertility and failed IVF treatments. She had multiple miscarriages before having her daughter Kaavia via surrogate. Her honesty about Mother's Day being a "challenging day to celebrate" for not just her, but so many others is a sentiment not often expressed.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama once the First Lady and mom of this country. She is beloved by many so much so she's earned the nickname "our forever FLOTUS." In true Obama fashion, Barack honored not just her this Mother's Day, but all versions of moms including his in a beautiful message that represents inclusivity. The former POTUS captioned a photo shared on Instagram:

"On this Mother's Day, I want to thank Michelle for being such an incredible mom to our girls. And I hope you'll take a moment to thank the women in your life who love you in that special way that mothers do: biological moms, adoptive moms, and foster moms; single moms, grandmoms and godmothers; aunts and mentors—all the people who come to mind when you think about Mother's Day. Or take a moment, like I will, to remember the moms who raised and sustained us, and who we miss every day—no matter how long it's been. All of these amazing people deserve our gratitude, today and every day."

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith captioned her Mother's Day post:

"That three generational #throwback for those sweet Mother's Day vibes❣️Check out our very special Mother's Day celebration at the Red Table."

Not only did this trio honor the holiday with a necessary Red Table Talk that honored coronavirus heroes, but Jada also shared this photo of their collective beauty that spans three generations. This throwback is a reminder of the legacy Black mothers build.

Vanessa Bryant

Vanessa Bryant wrote in a caption under a photo spending Mother's Day with her three daughters and remembering the daughter she lost:

"My babies~ Mother's Day❤️ Thank you for making me a mama @nataliabryant, Gianna, Bianka and Capri."

Vanessa lost her 13-year-old daughter Gianna last year as well as her husband Kobe Bryant. As matriarch to her family, she's led their other three girls through unbearable grief, and seeing them spend the day at Disneyland together, is hope to anyone that's ever experienced a loss that there will be better days.

Diana Ross

As a daughter to one of the greats and being a "great" in her own right, Tracee Ellis Ross reminds us all to honor the nurturing spirit within us courtesy of the mothers in our lives. She said about her mom:

"MAMA ~ I love you beyond! @dianaross
Sending Happy Mother's Day wishes to all those who Mother, who nurture and teach us about mothering and what it is [to] be mothered. A special embrace to those who need extra love today. I see you and send love to you. May we honor the mother within each of us."

Chrissy Teigen

In a Mother's Day post, John Legend shared about his wife, Chrissy Teigen:

"Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful wife! It's been a year that tested you in so many ways but you've come through stronger, wiser, happier and a better mother than ever. I'm so fortunate to have you as my partner, my inspiration and my best friend. I love you forever."

The mom of two touched us all when she shared the loss of her and John Legend's son Jack, which she was still carrying. Her transparency during what we're sure was one of the most difficult times of her life is something that sparked a fire in other women to open up about similar experiences. The same way John is inspired, so are we.

Featured image via Giphy

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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