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Ylonda Gault Caviness was raised on P-Funk and chicken wings by a mama whose “expert” advice was a beat-down glare and five simple words: Don’t. Make. Me. Hurt. You. When she became a mother herself, Gault flouted Mama’s old-fashioned ways. Child Please explores what happens when she finds herself worlds away from that sage advice and her black, working-class roots—as a parenting editor living in an affluent, liberal enclave near New York City. Gault takes a wry peek through a prism of race and class to dissect the zeitgeist, family drama and “mother-sucking” absurdities that make her wonder whether she is going crazy or coming back. As motherhood and career begin to careen—often poignantly; sometimes comically—Gault eventually falls back on her home training. She learns to stand up to the overwhelmingly white mommy mania culture and bow down to her mama’s life lessons. She mines the history and poetry of her straight-no-chaser mama, learning how deeply the harshness with which she was raised reflect the tragedies of Jim Crow segregation and other elements of the black experience. In the end, Gault concludes that Mama had motherhood and womanhood right all along. After all, you really don’t need expert advice when all you have to do is, “Act like you got some sense!”