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Mothering in Their Own Words: Uplifting the Voices of Black Mothers in Wyoming and Surrounding Areas.

Meadows-Fernandez, Ambreia
The purpose of this thesis is to actively assert the presence and validity of Black mothers in the Wyoming and surrounding areas. This thesis was developed based on surveys that I conducted with mothers in Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. Within these pages, I explore the tools Black mothering individuals employ when attempting to navigate, survive — and hopefully, learn to thrive in — the structural, political, and social influences on their experiences in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado.  I engage with the language that Black mothers use to describe their own experiences as they raise children in the Mountain and mid-West. Upon reflecting on the surveys, two themes were most salient for survey respondents: The first is the obstacles impeding Black mothers in the West, which is comprised of smaller themes such as monolithic representations, navigating simultaneous hypervisibility and invisibility along with intra-community expectations, and the struggle to develop and pass positive self-image to their children. The second theme is the resistance strategies they use to survive, and occasionally thrive, which contains smaller components such as challenging narratives through reflection and self-definition and holding and transmitting self-love with faith and inherited lessons.  Highlighting the experiences of Black mothers in Wyoming and surrounding areas is necessary to tell a more complete picture of life in the Mountain and mid-Western regions. The perspectives shared by these individuals can be used to locate gaps of care, lack of resources, and highlight the untold diversity of the area.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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African American participants,women,Gender equality,Wyoming,Mountain West,Black mothers
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