As Jamil Norman, PhD, RN, CNE, a co-author of the research study Insights into fear: A phenomenal study of Black mothers (other authors of the study are Sharon L. Dormire, Jodie C. Gary, and Idethia Shevon Harvey), discovered, the greatest fear that Black mothers have is that their sons will be killed, and they won’t be able to keep them safe.

“The purpose of this phenomenological study was to identify the stressors Black women experience as mothers. This paper focused on the most striking stressor, which was living in fear. Fear for personal safety has been identified in previous research with Black populations,” says Norman, academic coordinator for Walden University’s Tempo programs. This study, she says, was the first of its kind that identified these mothers fear that their children will be killed—and it specifically referred to their sons.

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