NPR Contributor

Adiba Nelson

A collection of videos and audio essays from author, speaker, and AZPM contributor, Adiba Nelson.
The cover of Adiba Nelson's new book, Ain't That a Mother

Ain't That a Mother

Look for Adiba Nelson's new book, Ain't That a Mother, in stores May, 2022.

Audio Essays

Becky with the Good Chair

A frank and funny essay in which Adiba Nelson explores Mattel Toy's decision to quietly discontinue Becky, a Barbie doll who used a wheelchair, and what message the doll's absence is sending.

Blended Family

Adiba Nelson considers the challenges of finding the perfect recipe for a blended family. 


How is it that a college educated couple must depend on public assistance to feed their family? In the first of a new series of essays, contributor Adiba Nelson considers the struggle to feed a family on an average of .88 cents per person per day.

The Halloween Trick

Author, activist and mom Adiba Nelson talks about the true contemporary spirit of Halloween, and how it isn't always a bag of treats for parents and kids of color. Music by Mattea. 

A Conversation with Sonia Manzano

Adiba Nelson talks with Sonia Manzano, who is beloved by generations for her playing Maria on Sesame Street. Now, she is launching her own show on PBS KIds, called “Alma’s Way”. 

Tween Tude

Adiba Nelson on parenting and keeping pace with your child even when they go places most parents would probably prefer to skip.

Hi Rona

Adiba Nelson talks about confronting her worst fears over the holiday season as her 11-year old daughter, Emory, was recovering from spinal surgery, her close-knit family - including her own mother - all contracted coronavirus. 

Waiting to Exhale

Is it time for everyone to exhale? Adiba Nelson talks about the emotional toll the last four years has brought to her life, and whether her faith in democracy has been restored. 

Black in America

Adiba Nelson about defying the odds, overcoming statistics, and living by a strict personal code - because she has to. She says it is all part of what it means to be Black in America in 2020. 

George Floyd

Adiba Nelson wonders if the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis will be the tragedy that finally propels the American people to take action on law enforcement and racial justice.

Bye Rona

Author and activist Adiba Nelson returns, to share her story of being a single mom with an underlying condition - raising a child with a disability - in the age of COVID-19. 

A Love Letter to Women

This Women's History Month Adiba Nelson, Tucson-based author, activist, mother, diva and queen bee, has a message for other women in action who are living, giving, and growing.

Mother's Day

Adiba Nelson shares the hardest parts of being a mom and why she thinks her younger self couldn’t understand the reasons she'd never give it up. Featuring music by Jaime J. Soto, produced by BV Beats. 

Kids Make Friends

Adiba Nelson gives advice about the conversation she says more parents should have with their kids, about how to make friends with children who have special needs. Music by Jaime J. Soto. 

Black Love

Adiba shares her perspective on the different kinds of love that exist within the black community, some that were born out of history, oppression and survival. Music by Jaime J. Soto.

No Baby

Adiba Nelson returns to tell about a journey she had to take for her health, and the ways it led her to re-examine the signals our culture sends about motherhood. (Music by Q and DJ Benbi.)

Domestic Violence

Adiba Nelson shares a personal essay on the complicated and painful legacy of domestic abuse in her family.  

A Conversation with Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke became the founder of the #metoo movement. Adiba Nelson talks with Burke about being a survivor of sexual assault and how the movement's message of empowerment and empathy is being expressed. 


Adiba Nelson offers her personal perspective on what she calls "the deep and heavy knapsack" of interracial dating, and tells how she defines her identity amidst the complex world of relationships and marriage. 

Emory's Future

Adiba Nelson shares her hopes and worries about her young daughter's future, and the challenges she faces growing up during tumultuous times for her particular intersection of gender, race, and special needs. 

Speech Therapy

Adiba Nelson on motherhood and change, explaining why her daughter's advances in speech therapy make her proud but wistful for a time when they shared their own private language of love. 

Love Letter to the Library

How do you feel about your local library? Adiba Nelson gets personal about her feelings.
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