Tales From the Motherboard: Black Mothering Across the Black Networked Consciousness

S. R. Toliver, Susan Renee Johnson, Erin Michelle Toliver Combs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A motherboard is the main circuit board in a computer, the connectivity point that ensures communication between important circuits and provides space for peripheral components to connect. As the central hub, the motherboard is the backbone, the point where power and data are distributed to the technological mechanisms that need it. Without the motherboard, connection is severed and functionality ceases. And is this not a description of Black mothering? Black mothers and othermothers are points of connectivity and communication between one generation and the next. They hold important data that will be transferred to their children, and they absorb and distribute power to the next generation to ensure current and future functionality in the Black community. Considering the idea of Black mothers as communal motherboards, this article utilizes Endarkened Storywork (undergirded by the Afrofuturist concept of the Black Networked Consciousness) to explore how one Black mother used ancestral knowing to help her children develop the navigational capital to succeed in a small urban characteristic city. As many education studies neglect to center the needs of Black youth in urban characteristic locations, we present a story and an accompanying analysis that illuminates this oft-forgotten geographical and learning landscape. In doing so, we present implications for education stakeholders to explicitly attend to geographical specificity in urban education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUrban Education
StateE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2 2024


  • Afrofuturism
  • Black Networked Consciousness
  • daughtering
  • Endarkened Storywork
  • mothering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Tales From the Motherboard: Black Mothering Across the Black Networked Consciousness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this