Nurturing Success: Successful Women of Color and Their Daughters

Nurturing Success: Successful Women of Color and Their Daughters

Nurturing Success: Successful Women of Color and Their Daughters

Nurturing Success: Successful Women of Color and Their Daughters


Although interest in mother/daughter relationships has led to a plethora of books on the subject, these books all consider situations found in the mainstream white population. In this book, relationships between mothers and daughters from 13 ethnic groups, including Asian, Black, Latino, and Native American, are explored. The voices of 17 highly successful mothers, in different stages of their life, and their 19 daughters are heard. The reader will learn of their values, intergenerational relationships, and the mother's influence as a role model. The research that confirms their personal stories and validates their life stories is discussed. The book provides valuable insight into the issues facing minority women in the United States.


In 1857 Susan Anthony, in a letter to Elizabeth C. Stanton, wrote that reproduction is the "highest and holiest function." To be a mother, to be a father is the last and highest wish of any human being . . . to reproduce himself and herself, she observed.

How different are daughters' lives today from their mothers' lives? Changes in these relationships over the past decades may be the result of changes in attitudes toward sex and chastity. Young women cohabit in increasing numbers before they marry, and they marry at a later age. Not only do they anticipate working after marriage and motherhood, but their wageearner role has become increasingly essential to maintain their standard of living. They are having fewer children, and they are divorcing in record numbers (Fischer, 1991).

Some researchers feel that these changes undermine the special motherdaughter bond. These trends may widen the "generation gap" so that mothers' experience may have little relevance to their daughters' actual and future experiences. With all of these changes, is there still a "mother link"--a special bond between mother and daughter?

Interest in the mother-daughter relationship has resulted in a plethora of books on the subject. Most of these books deal with the problems mothers and daughters face in adolescence or in adulthood, and most focus on the negative aspects of these interactions. All address situations found in the main culture population. Future research needs to look beyond prevailing stereotypes and discover a deeper understanding of how ethnicity affects contemporary relationships between mothers and their daughters.

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