Africana Motherhood

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An Ewe proverb, similar to other adages from a myriad of African ethnic groups, goes: “You do not choose your ancestors. They chose you.” A common Africana understanding that mothers choose to have their children and are the most intimate human link, because all humans are born of women, to their ancestors and the Almighty Creator is affirmed and captured in the proverb. African and African American experiences and those of other people in the African Diaspora during the last five hundred years, forged out of oppression and yearning for liberation, were wrought under separate political conditions in specific geographical locations, but have their genesis in a common African ancestry since their histories have common African beginnings. That ancestral source has been informing art on both sides of the Atlantic. While Senufo ancestral mothers and Bambara ancestral double-faced twin female figures with four children embody artistic presentation of that source, they also echo through the millennia honor and respect accorded mothers among Africans and Africans in the Diaspora.