Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools


You are here: Home / Coming Up / Be Informed Lectures and Libations Series: Dawn Dow

Be Informed Lectures and Libations Series: Dawn Dow

Mothering While Black: Boundaries and Burdens of Middle-Class Parenthood
When Mar 11, 2020
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where City Winery DC, 1350 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Add event to calendar vCal

Be Informed: Lecture and Libations is a community lecture series hosted by faculty and researchers from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland, with a mission to increase understanding of and pursue innovative solutions to the challenges facing our global community. A range of topics including psychology, social justice, political science, human behavior and more will be addressed in a relaxed atmosphere, accompanied by refined drinks and delicious bites. This month's lecture will take place at City Winery in Washington, DC.


Mothering While Black: Boundaries and Burdens of Middle-Class Parenthood

Recent events have underscored the harsh and, at times, tragic consequences of gendered racism-racial discrimination that varies based on gender- for African American children in the U.S. How do African American middle-class mothers address these challenges? Through in-depth interviews with African American middle- and upper-middle-class mothers, Dr. Dow will discuss how gendered racism influences these mothers' concerns for their sons and daughters and how it influences how they approach parenting their children. Dr. Dow describes how for their sons, mothers were principally concerned with preventing perceptions of them as criminals or "thugs" and protecting their physical safety. By contrast, mothers were principally concerned with protecting and building their daughters' self-esteem and self-value. Mothers used different strategies to help their sons and daughters navigate these challenges. These mothers' experiences illuminate how they prepare their children for the different societal reception they believe their sons and daughters will encounter and sheds light on the work needed to build racial empathy and understanding in the contemporary era. 



Dawn Marie Dow is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Par, a Faculty Associate in the Maryland Population Research Center and the Director of the Critical Race Initiative. She received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and also earned a JD from Columbia University, School of Law. 

Dr. Dow teaches classes on race and ethnicity, intersectionality, sociology of law, and qualitative research methods. Her research examines intersections of race, class, and gender within the context of the family, educational settings, the workplace, the law, and political mobilization. Dr. Dow's recent book, Mothering While Black: The Boundaries and Burdens of Middle-Class Parenthood (University of California Press, 2019), examines African American middle and upper-middle-class mothers' approaches to parenting their children and their views and decision-making about work, family and childcare. 

Dr. Dow's work has appeared in journals including Gender & Society, Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Race & Ethnicity, Science Advances, and Mobilization and has been featured on National Public Radio. Dr. Dow previously presented her work at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues at the University of California, Berkeley, and has also written for media outlets, including The Conversation and The Atlantic. 

Complimentary appetizers provided.

Advanced registration is required, as space is limited. RSVP by Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
Filed under:
« May 2024 »