Op-Ed: The Love Of “Mama”

April 30, 2018

By Dr. Shanessa Fenner

There is nothing more precious than the love of a mother who is the strength and backbone of the family. My mother is the only parent I have had in my life and I love her so much.  I call her “Mama” and she means the world to me.

There are so many things my mama taught me.  She taught me to do my very best in school, clean up the house, cook, act like a lady, handle my business, be proud of my heritage, form a relationship with God, have my own money and belongings, look my very best, and how to maintain and navigate this battlefield called life.

The best thing she taught me is to be independent and only depend on self.  You see people come in and out of your life like the four seasons with their lies and broken promises so when it’s all said and done, you can only depend on self.  I realized a long time ago that I am the only one that can pull me through.


The true essence of my mama is her strength, resiliency, and unconditional love. No matter what she was going through she made a way out of no way for things to happen. The sacrifice that she made in order for me to have certain things was amazing and I am thankful.

Then there are things that I learned from watching her. The true essence of my mama is her strength, resiliency, and unconditional love. No matter what she was going through she made a way out of no way for things to happen. The sacrifice that she made in order for me to have certain things was amazing and I am thankful. Real mothers put their children first and some of them have strengths they didn’t even know they had.

You see as a mother you have the responsibility to show your daughters they are beautiful, capable, and have the ability to become independent, successful, and God fearing individuals. Society does not hold black girls or women very high nor celebrate or compliment them which is black female invisibility. It is the role of the mother to embed in her daughters they are valued, worthy, and to love the skin they are in.

My mother was a teacher and then she eventually became a social worker so her expectations for me were very high in reference to my education. I was expected to make good grades along with obtaining a quality education. Failure was not an option. I knew that when I graduated from high school I was expected to attend and graduate from college.


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It is also very important for mothers to teach young black females to love and embrace the versatility of their hair, facial, and body features so they won’t struggle with their self-identity as they get older.

I was taught to be true about who you are and do not try to look like anyone else because God did not make any mistakes.  He created every hair on my head and body and knows what it represents.

So to all mothers have a Happy Mother’s Day! We love and appreciate your tears and prayers for us.

So to all mothers have a Happy Mother’s Day! We love and appreciate your tears and prayers for us. On judgment day we want to know that we pleased two people: God and mama!

Dr. Shanessa Fenner is Principal in the Cumberland County school system. Dr. Fenner has her own local TV show called “Let’s Talk with Dr. Shanessa Fenner.” She has a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees. Dr Fenner has been featured in Ebony Magazine as one of the nation’s most eligible bachelorettes. She was voted one of the most influential women in Fayetteville and voted one of the best “Forty Under Forty Award.” 

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