These Two Sex-Positive Single Moms Created A Podcast For Unapologetic Mothers

Through their podcast Good Moms, Bad Choices, Erica and Jamilah do just that.


There's always a bit of magic when two strong black women join together with a common goal to not only empower others but push the envelope while filling a void for women of color. For friends Erica Dickerson and Jamilah "Milah" Mapp, that meant redefining the narrative of single motherhood and providing a platform for women who don't necessarily fit the traditional cookie-baking, PTA-mom mold. Through their weekly podcast, Good Moms, Bad Choices, the two do just that, featuring expert and celebrity guests (one of their latest was singer Melonie Fiona) to talk hot topics including sex, dating, social media, and cannabis.

"I've always been a fan of podcasts, and I started looking for those that were more about parenthood and single motherhood," Dickerson recalled during an interview with xoNecole. "As a woman of color—as a black woman— there were just none that I felt like I could relate to. A lot of them were hosted by white women who I felt like didn't understand my experience as a single black mother. We just started recording something and it has grown from there."

Dickerson, a global beauty director at Beautyblender by day, and Mapp, an esthetician with her own mobile business, found common ground not only being single moms of daughters who are the same age, but also being self-starters who have even strengthened their friendship on the show. They've now built a community of more than 30,000 followers on their Instagram alone and reach millions of listeners everywhere.

"We're good moms that sometimes make bad choices, and we learn. We needed something that was going to let the audience [know] quickly what they're about to get themselves into," Mapp said. "Jamilah and I are really trying to change the landscape—the negative connotation of what single motherhood looks like," Dickerson added.

"We're good moms that sometimes make bad choices, and we learn. We needed something that was going to let the audience [know] quickly what they're about to get themselves into. Jamilah and I are really trying to change the landscape—the negative connotation of what single motherhood looks like."

Many single moms of color face stigmas and comparisons to archaic stereotypes that range from bitter mean workaholic mom to lazy money-hungry baby mama. Dickerson and Mapp want to turn those stereotypes on their heads and give women a chance to unapologetically connect and share, building their own tribe based on their unique and diverse parenting experiences and needs—uncensored and raw.

"It's a range of things—a lot of life experiences on a day-to-day basis—so there's no telling really what you're going to get. Episodes range from parenting to personal experiences," Mapp said.

"As two single parents, we're navigating this dating world out here in Los Angeles, so we talk a lot about dating and a lot about sex," Dickerson added. "We definitely advocate for our listeners to not be afraid to talk about taboo topics with their kids. If you're going to listen to our podcast at work, put your headphones in because we do curse a lot. It's realness and we really don't filter anything—our experiences as women and mothers."

"If you're going to listen to our podcast at work, put your headphones in because we do curse a lot. It's realness and we really don't filter anything—our experiences as women and mothers."

One hot topic that always sparks intrigue and debate is the consumption of weed, and it's something the ladies have no qualms in supporting or discussing. "We both are cannabis users and obviously, in L.A., that's legal. It's a bit more normal, per se, and that's something that we normalize in our households. When we talk about cannabis with our parents who want to smoke, [some have] been shamed by their family or they have guilt. They think, 'Oh my God, am I a bad parent because I'm smoking weed?'" Dickerson said.

"Jamilah and I always tell them, 'This is your life. You don't need to ask for permission. Do what you have to do and stop asking for everyone's opinion.' And [the cannabis topic] is just one example. There are a lot of opinions out there [about motherhood and parenting], but I always say, this is your life—this is your child's life. As long as your child is healthy and you're not putting them in danger, that's your business."

Single moms are also often at the whim of very stifling family and societal criticism on issues like what to wear when pregnant, where and how to give birth, when to date, and disciplinary practices—leading to quite a bit of mom-shaming. Black mothers are often passed down insights on what they should and should not do based on habits of the past.

"I think we come from a society that, you know, has this premade equation of what parenthood looks like, but the truth is, that [equation] is not necessarily [accurate for all of us]," Mapp said. "We've been socialized in a lot of ways. There's this box moms have to fit into, and if you don't, you're shamed. They'll say, 'You're somebody's mother, why are you wearing that?' 'Oh, you went out twice this week? Why are you doing that?'"

Dickerson stresses the importance of mothers trusting themselves a bit more and making confident decisions based on intuition and personal preference. "When you get pregnant, that's when it really starts—like the precursor to opinions. Everyone has an opinion about what you should do as a pregnant woman, how you should prepare, how your child is going to be before they're even here. I think that right there was my first [indication of having] to go with my intuition. I learned the hard way because my first big lesson was not trusting myself on how I wanted to give birth. It all went downhill because I listened to everybody else's opinion."

Dickerson and Mapp also encourage women to set their own path and enjoy journeys of womanhood along with motherhood—on their own terms.

"Just because you're a mother doesn't mean that you're no longer an individual—a woman who has goals, who is having sex, who is putting herself first," Dickerson said. "I think a lot of times in motherhood we think that we can no longer put ourselves first, and that's a huge mistake because you really can't be a good mother if you're not taking care of yourself."

For the two hosts, embracing every facet of their own femininity, living their best lives for themselves and their children, and tapping into their motherly instincts is key. Finding balance between the three is something that is ongoing and fluid, and it doesn't have to be perfect.

"I think for both of us, in this journey that we've had, we've got to have the attitude like, 'Look, we know what we're doing,'" Mapp said. "When you're confident in what you're doing and you know you're doing the right thing for your child, all the other things fall to the wayside. We encourage that for our audience, too. There's no black-and-white instructional on how to be a parent to your child, and being a single parent doesn't define you. You, as a single parent, have the ability to be multifaceted."

"There's no black-and-white instructional on how to be a parent to your child, and being a single parent doesn't define you. You, as a single parent, have the ability to be multifaceted."

Dickerson echoed those sentiments and believes that she and Mapp's lives as mothers and empowered women venturing into a new decade are ever-changing and evolving.

"[We won't] be single forever," Dickerson added with a laugh. "I'm totally enjoying my singleness right now, but you know, if someone comes along, I'm open. I just feel women are in an exciting time. We're more empowered than ever, and we're so happy to be part of that."

You can catch Erica and Jamilah on Good Moms, Bad Choices via any major streaming platform.

Featured image courtesy of Good Moms, Bad Choices.

Originally published on November 4, 2019

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.


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
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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