If you were to search “Black motherhood” in Google right now, you’d likely find some results about the state of Black maternal health and tough conversations we’re forced to have with our children. Being Black and a mother in this country no doubt comes with its own unique challenges. But where do Black moms go when they just want to delight in being moms?
That’s the question Mixed-ish actress Tika Sumpter asked herself when she was first pregnant with her daughter Ella three years ago. After scouring the internet looking for joyful content for moms that looked like her, she soon found a void in the marketplace. Sumpter was later introduced to Thai Randolph, EVP of Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud and fellow mom, who recognized she was on to something. “When I talked about my idea for Sugaberry, [Thai] said, ‘I would be the first person on that site,'” said Sumpter. “So we decided to work together and cultivate it to what it is now.”
Sumpter and Randolph went on to co-found Sugaberry, which they call “the brown mama’s guide to the sweet life.” The lifestyle brand just launched this week, along with their motherhood podcast “The Suga.” Randolph says their goal is to build a platform for Black mothers where “motherhood could be enjoyed and not endured.”
Randolph, an accomplished media executive, knew exactly how it felt to not be seen in her motherhood journey. She and her husband encountered some fertility issues before giving birth to their son in 2018. Randolph distinctly remembers seeing no other women of color in the fertility clinic waiting rooms. It’s one of the reasons she’s become so passionate about providing a sense community to other Black moms. “We want to talk about all the little nuances of what it means to be a mom,” says Randolph. “From postpartum to delighting in like the smell of your child’s hair. We want to talk about all of the little delicacies and also some of them like real hardships.”
Sumpter and Randolph aren’t going at this alone. You can look forward to special guests join their podcast like Jazmyn Simon of HBO’s “Ballers” and Dr. Imani Walker of Bravo’s “Married to Medicine Los Angeles.”
“Our topics range from mental health to just the indulgence of enjoying motherhood and making space for oneself, regardless of where you are on the spectrum,” says Sumpter. “We don’t only wear the badge of strong Black moms. We have vulnerabilities and things we need to talk about. We have to put our own mask on before we put anybody else’s.”