A groundbreaking new series in Ms., Front and Center offers first-person accounts of Black women living in extreme poverty, who are taking part in the Magnolia Mother’s Trust which gives recipients a guaranteed income of $1,000 per month for 12 months. In Front and Center, these mothers speak on their struggles, their children, their work, their relationships, and their dreams for the future, and how a federal guaranteed income program could change their lives.

Putting Poor Black Mothers Front and Center

by AISHA NYANDORO and KATHY SPILLAR

Almost 50 years after its founding, Ms. is continuing its commitment to inclusive feminism with a new series called Front and Center—featuring pieces written by the women of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust. The program provides more than 100 Black mothers living in extreme poverty in Jackson, Miss., a guaranteed income of $1,000 a month for a year.

Beginning Thursday, you’ll hear first-hand about their struggles, their children, their work, their relationships and their dreams for the future.

The Magnolia Mother’s Trust has worked with more than 200 Black mothers in three cohorts, the first from 2018 to 2019, the second from 2020 to 2021 and the third beginning in April of 2021, making it the longest-run guaranteed income program in the country. The initiative proves the case for how cash without restrictions can be a crucial component of the social safety net provided by the federal government.