Watch “I Hold Your Love” Pays Tribute to Black Mothers | The New Yorker Documentary

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[soft music]Give me a kiss, give me a kiss,give me a kiss.Give me a kiss, give me a kiss.[Interviewer] Did you have any mentors?Did you have any people who were encouraging you?My mom.My mom was definitely my mentor.When we were youngermy mom would make all our dresses.Young girl, you look good.And all our tennis outfits.And she would have these old patterns,these vogue patterns,which she would pinand she would cut it outand then she would sew it.She taught me how to sew.I’ve known how to sew since,I don’t know,since as I can’t remember.’Cause I remember stealing socksand making dresses for my dolls.At the time I didn’t know thatwe couldn’t afford it.It was just something creativeand it was just something cool to do.[Interviewer] When we’re looking at the time exam piece,you put your hand in front of itand we were remarking on like,How similar your hand looks.It takes a whole different meaningseeing it in person,because I can seethe pressure,is almost as if she’s holdingor she’s trying to hold onto that baby.And you could see the muscles in my handand then the deflection.And then the tendons of my handare just trying to hold onto the child.And as a momand just loving my kids so much,I wanna give her a hug.[soft music][baby laughing]What I’ve learned when I had my daughter is that,African American momsjust don’t get the attention they need in hospitals.African American moms and women of color,and women of color.[child laughing][soft music]Sometimes you just need a voice.Sometimes people don’t know.[soft music][child laughing]It’s natural.It happened to me.I’m just telling my story.[soft music]What I’ve learned when I had my daughter is that,African American moms and women of color,just don’t get the attention they need in hospitals.For me to go in a hospital,I had to be very firm and say,I’m not breathingand I need help.[soft music]I was just thinking like,Of course they wouldn’t listen to you.Your voice isn’t big enough.The one misconceptionis black women are very strong,and we carry that.’Cause we’ve carried the family for centuries.And so, yeah, we’re strong,but we’re having a child.This is our vulnerable moment.This is a moment where we need to be taken care of.This really speaks to mebecause of all the strugglesthat women of color and black womenhave to go through when they’re having a baby,and so many people didn’t make it,to be honest.[soft music]There’s this shadowing in her eyes,this lighting,the white in it that kind of pierces through.I could still be standing there for hoursjust looking at her eyes.And then, the size,I love the size.Because I love seeing a black person on a canvas,huge,bigger than big,and just having someone that my daughter can seeand that represents me.That has my nose,that has my color.It’s emotional.It’s really deep.The day you were born,I thought I’d never stop bleeding.The doctor was a stranger to me.He grabbed the forceps off the steel tray.I passed out.I remember dreaming,I was in a big white roomfilled with other black women.[soft music]All mothers.[soft music]Each mother was given a chance to tell her story,a testimony.[soft music]It was beautiful every time.[soft music][Narrator] For our mother,who carried, lugged, dragged,battled, cradled our pain,our broken hearts,dreams, bodies,her pain.Let us carry, lug, battle,cradle your sorrow, your fear,on this back,these arms,built, sculpted, molded by you.We bear your burden.This load,this weight,guarding your vulnerable moment.A whisper held, your moment.A whisper held, your love.I holdyour love.[soft music]

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