Alia Tyner Mullings Talks About Black Motherhood



October 20, 2021 | Academics, Faculty, In the Media, Publication

Dr. Alia Tyner-Mullings

Dr. Alia Tyner-Mullings

Dr. Alia R. Tyner-Mullings, author and Associate Professor of Sociology at Guttman Community College has been featured on Mama Glow, a website dedicated to the “support [of] women and families during the fertility period, during pregnancy, after birth and into new motherhood offering a full spectrum approach to holistic wellness.” Her chapter “The Single, Most Important Community: An Essay on Black Motherhood is in the recently published Tick Tock: Essays on Becoming a Parent After 40.

In this insightful piece, Dr. Tyner-Mullings recounts her decision to raise a child on her own, her journey to motherhood, and the growth of community throughout this process. Laden with the emotional and physical trials of her experience, Dr. Tyner-Mullings offers us an honest and intimate look at a very vulnerable subject.  It is in the telling of the sometimes painful experience of her pregnancy, that she finds strength to reach out to others.  “I didn’t want to ask for help because I was too old for that. I learned later that a single mom can never be too anything to ask for help.”

After having her child, the communities that Dr. Tyner-Mullings sought out, created and engaged with have helped her settle into ‘life as a mom’.  Tyner-Mullings stridently states, “I have moved into a new arena, but like so many strong, Black, single women, I didn’t do it alone. The creation and cultivation of community—the kinwork that feels as though it is part of my birthright—took time and energy, but community is how I have been able to continue to move forward.” Dr. Tyner-Mullings shares an intimate look at her own experience to bring attention to dynamics of Motherhood and specifically Black Motherhood to the forefront in this important essay.

Dr. Alia R. Tyner-Mullings earned a doctorate in sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she researched alternative educational models. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on sociology, deviance, statistics, gender, research methods and education. After finishing her doctorate, she was a post-doctoral fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University, in the Sociology and Education Program and then an assistant professor at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. A former high school math teacher, Dr. Tyner-Mullings has served on assessment committees for three small high schools and has also worked as a statistical or academic consultant for several colleges and universities. Her research interests include the sociology of education, communities, sports, and cultural studies. Dr. Tyner-Mullings authored Enter the Alternative School: Critical Answers to Questions in Urban Education (Paradigm Publishers, 2014), an in-depth examination of public school alternatives to traditional educational models. She is also the co-editor of Critical Small Schools: Beyond Privatization in New York City Urban Educational Reform (Information Age, 2012) and co-author of Writing for Emerging Sociologists (Sage Publications, Inc., 2013). The Sociology Student’s Guide to Writing was released in 2016.