Two powerhouse women, who also happen to be moms, have teamed up to create a platform for mothers and soon-to-be mothers of color. Sugaberry is a new lifestyle brand cofounded by award-winning business executive Thai Randolph and actress and producer Tika Sumpter.
The mission of the newly launched community is to “serve as a daily love letter to Black moms all over the world” by celebrating all aspects of Black motherhood through year-round events, newsletters, podcasts and product recommendations.
While Black celebrities including Serena Williams and Beyoncé have opened up about the difficulties they faced during their pregnancies, spaces catered to women of color are few and far between. This is despite data showing Black mothers are the most at-risk demographic for pregnancy and birth complications.
“When I was pregnant with my daughter, I found myself searching for a community that looked like me and was talking about all things motherhood,” says Randolph. “Black women don’t usually get to delight in mommyhood, which is why I wanted to build a safe and sweet destination for modern moms of color, regardless of what stage they are in.”
Earlier this month, Randolph and Sumpter announced Sugaberry’s latest initiative: The virtual Milk & Suga summit, which will bring moms, doctors, doulas, nutritionists and midwives together for a day of candid conversations about the highs, lows, joys and challenges of breastfeeding for moms of color. The event will take place during Black Breastfeeding Week on Friday, August 28, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT.
“There is a significant disparity in the rate at which Black mothers and white mothers breastfeed,” says Randolph. “That gap is not driven by a mere matter of ‘preference,’ but rather is the byproduct of complex chasms in access to healthcare, representation and societal support that marginalizes Black moms and their babies during what’s supposed to be a special time in the mother/child development journey.”
Lower rates of breastfeeding among Black mothers is indeed a reality. On average, 66% of Black women breastfeed compared to more than 82% of white and Latinx moms.
“As a mom who faced challenges breastfeeding—and out of frustration ultimately opted not to—I am thrilled to create a space where Black women can be supported, celebrated and guided through their options to nourish their babies,” says Randolph.
For(bes) The Culture is Forbes’ recently launched hub for Black and brown professionals.