The way out of the pandemic can begin with the way into the lives of Black and Brown single mothers.
I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Easter weekend 2004. Though I had taken a pregnancy test at home and received a positive result, I went to the college campus infirmary the next day to be sure. It was my senior year at Spelman College and I had so many plans in store after graduation — I was hoping that my positive home test was just a fluke.
When I arrived at the clinic, the nurse did a blood pregnancy test — and as one would expect, it came back positive.
In a daze, I grabbed my tote bag and left the always-too-cold clinic. Right outside its doors, in a worn patch of grass was a wooden bench worn by the Georgia sun. I’d throw my worn tote bag on the ground next to me and weep. At the time, I thought I was weeping over the uncertainty of raising a child, but in hindsight, it was something much more.
As I sat and cried, I remember looking down at my tote bag and peeking out of the top of one of my folders was an application for The University of Maryland at College Park’s journalism program. I had this big dream to move to the east coast to work as a journalist — this dream that was crystal clear just days before was now as blurry as my teary-eyed vision. I remember mumbling to myself, “Welp. That’ll never happen.”
Nearly 16 years later, my life has tried to reconcile that moment as not a moment of sorrow for motherhood, but the sorrow for a dream that I had to abandon.
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