As we embark on a weekend filled with brunches, gifting sessions, and other means of celebrating and honoring the bonds we share with the most important women in your lives, be sure to set a reminder to check out a sweet new film that pays tribute to our dear mamas.
"Because of Them, We Can," the viral campaign that turned into a photo anthology earlier this year, is now broadcasting its message to empower the Black children of today via the small screen. The first in the new docuseries is “Because of Her, I Can,” a Mother’s Day special premiering this Saturday, May 10th, at 10pm on Centric.
Eunique Jones Gibson, creator of “Because of Them, We Can," wanted to find a new way to continue building on the movement she started a little over a year ago. In what was originally a photo project in which her two sons dressed as notable figures in Black history (and only lasted the 28 days of Black History Month), now includes a book, calendar, and this 30-minute documentary, which features rapper/actor Common and Carol's Daughter founder Lisa Price. The two will share their own stories of overcoming hurdles within each of their lives, how their mothers impacted their futures, and personal insight on how they believe parents can protect and nurture the children of this generation.
“We started to think of how we could grow and scale this message so that it becomes a banner of excellence that all children of all hues could raise together.” says Gibson.
“We hear about Frederick Douglass. We might see Spike Lee on television and read about Malcolm X, but we have people in our communities that are making just as much of an impact on a daily basis and many of these community members our in our own homes...We all have a 'her' in our lives. I’m sure you have a 'her' in your life. We know that Kevin Durant has a 'her' in his life. Everyone is talking about his speech and how he honored his mother and told the world how she is the real MVP. There are so many stories where we can say 'Because of her, I can.'”
And though Mother’s Day is one of the most important holidays in the African American community, Gibson insists that this is just the beginning of a series of specials honoring the people who make our communities special---including fathers.
"We can’t negate the impact fathers have and the role that they play. In the form of a “Because of Him, I Can”, we want to give voice to the active dads that are present in their children's lives, whether they are in the same household or co-parenting. “Because of Her, I Can” is just an inaugural version. Beyond that, we are even planning something for [Hispanic] Heritage Month as well. There is so much to lay out. Projects have an end date, but this is a movement. The only way to stop a movement is to stop moving.”
Because of Her, I Am premiers Saturday, May 10th at 10pm EST on Centric. Please check your local listings for exact channels and times. For more information, read our previous interview with creator Eunique Jones Gibson here and visit their website.
Ugi Ugwuomo is a music and culture writer based in Brooklyn, NY. You can follow him on Twitter at @rLfNowhere.