Mother’s Day is a reminder of all the hard work our mothers, grandmothers, aunties and mother figures did for us over the years; all of the sacrifice and diligent support they have given us. In our community, mothers sometimes go unnoticed for their efforts, but only because they do it out of the love in their hearts. They know being a mother is not always rewarding. They simply want to see those they support achieve and excel beyond their own imaginations.
Some of our local mothers in the Los Angeles County have silently worked behind the scenes, making our lives easier, but often are forgotten. But not this time around. We would like to take a moment and recognize our mothers of the community, who keep this place in order and the love flowing.
Millicent Hill, a.k.a. “Mama Hill”
She is a retired schoolteacher and received numerous accolades for her outstanding leadership, activism, inspiration, and overall love for her community. Millicent Hill utilized her God-given talents and training to establish an afterschool tutoring program for children in South Los Angeles called Mama Hill’s Help.
The organization provides emotional, academic and spiritual support through gang intervention and prevention, teen pregnancy counseling, and homework help. As the executive director of the organization, she counsels students and parents as well as coordinates fundraisers and events.
KCET, Union Bank, and several other companies and organizations have recognized her community work and penetrating activism. She was responsible for popularizing the Martin Luther King Jr. museum at Crenshaw High School. Her goal is to empower the youth and save the community.
In 2008, her organization was threatened with closure when the house that nurtures the programs was affected by the economy and spiraling housing market. But after protesting and getting the support she needed through ACORN, the house was saved and community members were relieved.
Mama Hill continues working for the children in Los Angeles and setting the trend for the future.
“Sistah” Linda Bowling
In the Antelope Valley, she is known for her abundance of love and care. Linda Bowling, commonly called Sistah Linda or Mama Linda, currently works at Black Infant Health in the AV, counseling young pregnant mothers. Through African American studies, parenting courses, and self-empowerment sessions, Bowling helps parents raise healthy babies and improve their own lives.
She recently established an extended program called Big Mama’s House, where both future moms and dads can share their stories of failure, challenge, and triumph in support of a strong parenthood.
Sistah Linda has lived in the AV for over 20 years now and has been serving the community for the past 10. She has cooked and brought hot meals to the homeless and less fortunate, assisted pregnant teens, and worked in ministry. The multitalented AV mother is also a musician, songwriter, and producer. She is also a military woman. She has been married for 38 years, raised three daughters, and is loving on her six grandchildren.
A Watts mother and activist, Lillian Mobley has not put her fighting stick down yet. With a senior center (Lillian Mobley South Central Multipurpose Senior Citizens Center) named in her honor and her face recognized throughout the community, this great mother has been a voice for the forgotten in the small city of Watts for many years.
Back in the day, she was on the front lines with other local activists to bring a hospital and medical school to the area and was a strong force in advocating for permanent buildings at Southwest College. Though she is frail in age, the activist and community lover continues to let her voice be heard as she serves on several action groups in Los Angeles. She is best known for her advocacy for the poor.
Her main focus has always been on educating poor Black people and gathering resources for the disadvantaged. Mobley established Grandma’s Hands Los Angeles Birthing Project. The organization is a national African American maternal and child health program where support and resources are provided to expecting mothers.
She has been recognized by local institutions for her inexorable support for the community and continues to fight for the people she loves.
Mothers from all over L.A. County can be thanked and praised for the love they have shown over the years of their lives, sacrificing time, money, and sanity. With these examples to follow and this foundation to stand upon, our communities may continue to grow abundantly. Our community mothers: They keep us safe, keep us in line, and keep us warm with long, genuine hugs. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.