Book Review: Mama Made the Difference
by T. D. Jakes
Publication Date: Apr 25, 2006
List Price: $19.95
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Imprint: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
Book Reviewed by Kam Williams
’My mother was a most remarkable person. She embodies the reasons that I esteem mothers so highly. In fact, when people ask me why much of my nearly thirty-year ministry has focused on seeing women healed and released into everything God has for them, I tell them that my loving and ministering to women is born of the way I loved and appreciated my mother.
I am who I am today in large part because of my mother, and I have written this book on behalf of all the sons and daughters who know they are who they are because of their mother. I have penned these pages in honor- in celebration and in tribute- of every mother who has ever lived.’
’Excerpted from the Introduction
When I was growing up back in the day, most of the mothers in my neighborhood were stay-at-home moms whose husbands commuted into the city for work. This meant that the task of keeping the kids on the block on the straight-and-narrow essentially fell to a tight-knit, extended family of females each of whom somehow felt responsible for raising one another’s children. These caretakers of the community were generally very strong and spiritual role models who simultaneously served as teachers, nurturers, disciplinarians, protectors, and advisors to any youngster who happened to enter their sphere of influence.
African-American culture, by-and-large, has changed considerably since then, especially since economic factors have come to mandate that most black women seek employment. This development makes Mama Made the Difference, that much sweeter, for this loving tribute harks back to a time when motherhood was still cherished in America as a sacred calling.
As Bishop T.D. Jakes explains his motivation for writing the book, ’These are the years when people of my generation must see our parents fade and slip from our hands. While we still can, we must seize the opportunity to honor them.’
And though he first he waxes romantic about his own dearly-departed mother, Oditha, the popular TV televangelist then devotes attention to other amazing women, some famous, some Biblical, some who have walked the Earth in relative obscurity, but with dignity.
A collaboration, among the contributors who also share their poignant personal memoirs in this touching tome are Reverend Bernice King about her mother, Coretta; gospel great CeCe Winans about her mom, Delores; and former Secretary of State Colin Powell about his mother, Maud. If the good Bishop’s mission, here, was merely to let every mother know that their sacrifices matter, make a difference, and will forever be appreciated, well then, Mission Accomplished!