First things first: Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there. I think I can speak for all of us here in #nerdland when I say that we send our very best to you. Especially to you, Sybrina Fulton.
This year, I have to think it's just about impossible for anyone to consider the meaning of Mother's Day without thinking of Fulton, the mother of the late Trayvon Martin. She has endured a special hell this year, one shared surely by too many other mothers whose names we don't know. (Fulton's Mother's Day PSA for the Second Chance program, released earlier this week, is incredibly moving. Keep a tissue nearby.)
For too many mothers today, for so many reasons, Mother's Day is a melancholy occasion. Listening to Tupac Shakur's mother (who also surely grieves today) speak at the beginning of the song above about how glad she was she didn't give birth in prison, I can't also help but think of Marissa Alexander, the Jacksonville mother of three who in 2010 -- less than two weeks after giving birth -- sought to stop yet another attack by her abusive husband by firing a warning shot into her kitchen wall. Earlier this week, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Continuing on a theme from last week, Melissa will take a look at the Alexander case, and the tens of thousands of other incarcerated mothers in our prison system. Our special guest will be Tina Reynolds, co-founder and co-chair at WORTH, as well as an adjunct professor at York College. She gave birth to a child while incarcerated, and he was nine months old when she was released.
We'll also take a look at the extraordinary mothers of the two men who, it seems, will face off for the presidency this year. The stories of Lenore Romney and Stanley Ann Dunham are incredible, indeed, and not in the literal sense of that word. Melissa will take a look at these women's lives with the help of two biographers: Dunham biographer Janny Scott, and Mitt Romney biographer Ronald Scott, who is also related to the former Massachusetts governor.
Speaking of Romney, Melissa will also examine the revelations from this week's controversial Washington Post article about his prep-school life, which included some rather cruel pranks, bullying, and an assault on a gay classmate. Melissa will also offer a "reality check" about the famously fertile, pay tribute to our moms (yes, those of us on the staff here in #nerdland), and will continue her conversation about the President's new marriage-equality stance with a new roster of guests, including:
- Chloe Angyal, an editor at Feministing, and freelance writer for such publications as Jezebel and The Atlantic.
- Anthea Butler, professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair of Religion at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Michael Tomasky, Special Correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
- Robin Levi, attorney and co-editor of "Inside This Place, Not of It."
- Rev. Vivian Nixon, executive director at the College and Community Fellowship and co-founder of the Education Inside Out Coalition.
As always, folks -- be sure to interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET!