New book tells stories of the mothers of MLK, Malcolm X and James Baldwin

'They could not have done this [important work] without their mothers,' author Anna Malaika Tubbs says of the Civil Rights icons

The names Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin are well known.

Prominent voices of the Civil Rights era, each man made a mark. They were indelible advocates for Black Americans, and their collective influence continues to be felt to this day.

None of these three gentlemen would be as beloved and impactful as they became had it not been for their mothers, and a newly released book illustrates just how much the women played a role in shaping the lives and ideologies of these icons.

Author Anna Malaika Tubbs‘ new book The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation, was published on Feb. 2 by HarperCollins Publishers Limited. Tubbs tells the stories of Alberta King, Louise Little, and Berdis Baldwin, respectively, and writes how each woman helped their sons find their paths to becoming the progressive thinkers and orators they’re known to be today.

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“These women were teachers, they were passionate about their writing and putting their bodies on the line in marches and movements throughout the country for racial justice,” Tubbs told People. “They could not have done this [important work] without their mothers … we’re missing out on a lot when we focus just on one figure.”

Author Anna Malaika Tubbs poses with a copy of “The Three Mothers.” (via Twitter)

Prior to its release last week, The Three Mothers received much praise from critics. In December, the biography made Fortune Magazine‘s lists of “21 books to look out for in 2021,” calling the title “deeply researched” that will “offer a new understanding of a century of American history.”

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Publishers Weekly said that Tubbs “skillfully draws parallels between each woman’s story” and that the book “gives credit where it’s long overdue.”

Tubbs, a Gates scholar, is currently a University of Cambridge Ph.D candidate in sociology, according to The New York Times.

She, herself, also became a mother during the research and writing process for the book.

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