Multicultural Midwifery History

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Midwives of color narratives (and a film)

Bovard, W. and Milton, G. (1993). Why Not Me? The Story of Gladys Milton, Midwife. Summertown, TN: The Publishing Company.

Buss, Fran Leeper. (1980). La Partera: Story of a Midwife. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press. (Story of Jesusita Aragon)

Joseph J, Booker C and Curry-Ibrahim, A. (2012). The Grand Midwives of the USA. Multimedia presentation for the Virtual International Day of the Midwife.

Lee, V. (1996). Granny Midwives and Black Women Writers: Double-Dutched Readings. New York: Routledge.

Logan, Onnie Lee. (1989). Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife’s Story. Mobile, AL: Penguin Books.

Smith, C. and Roberson, M. (2003). My Bag Was Always Packed: The Life and Times of a Virginia Midwife. Bloomington, IN, USA.

Smith, Margaret Charles. (1996). Listen To Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife. Ann Arbor, MI: Braun-Brumfield.

Susie, Debra Ann. (1988). In the Way of Our Grandmothers: A cultural View of 20th Century Midwifery in Florida. USA: University of Georgia Press. Narratives of several African-American midwives with some analysis.

Stoney, George, and the Georgia Department of Health. (1952). All My Babies: A Midwife’s Own Story.   [Documentary film.]

Midwifery and reproduction in communities of color

Slavery era

Fett, Sharla. (2002). Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

__(2006). Consciousness and Calling: African American Midwives at Work in the Antebellum South. In New Studies in the History of American Slavery. Eds. Edward E. Baptist and Stephanie M. H. Camp. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.

Robinson, S. (1984). A historical development of midwifery in the Black community: 1600-1940Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, 29 (4), 247-250.

Schwartz, M. (2006). Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press.

Tunc, TE. (2010). The mistress, the midwife, and the medical doctor: Pregnancy and childbirth on the plantations of the antebellum American South between 1800-1860. Women’s History Review, 19(3), 395-419

20th century

Bonaparte, Alicia D. (2007). The Persecution and Prosecution of Granny Midwives in South Carolina 1900-1940. Dissertation for PhD in Sociology. Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN.

Champion, JD. (2012). Stories from a Mexican American partera: Life on the Texas-Mexico border. Journal of Trans-cultural Nursing: July 16

Fraser, Gertrude. (1995). “Modern Bodies, Modern Minds: Midwifery and Reproductive Change in an African American Community.” In Conceiving the New World Order, edited by Faye Ginsburg and Rayna Rapp. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Fraser, Gertrude. (1999). African American Midwifery in the South: Dialogues of Birth, Race, and Memory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard U Press.

Holmes, Linda. (1986). “African American Midwives in the South.” In The American Way of Birth, Pamela Eakins, ed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 273-290.

Ladd-Taylor, Molly. (1988). ‘Grannies’ and ‘Spinsters’: Midwife Education under the Sheppard-Towner Act. Journal of Social History 22(2): 255-275.

Smith, Susan. (1999). “White Nurses, Black Midwives, and Public Health in Mississippi.” In Women and Health in America: Historical Readings, ed. Judith Walzer Leavitt. Madison and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 444-458.

Smith, S. (2005). Japanese American Midwives: Culture, Community, and Health Politics, 1880-1950. University of Illinois.

Race and Reproductive and Medical Violence

McGregor, Barbara Kuhn. (1998). From Midwives to Medicine: The Birth of American Gynecology. Rutgers UP. (Chapter 2 focuses on J Marion Sims’ experimentation on three slave women to perfect vaginal fistula repair–and the design of the vaginal speculum)

Roberts, Dorothy. (1995). Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Vintage.

Washington, Harriet. (2006). Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Doubleday.

Bridges, K. (2011). Reproducing Race: An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Martines, E. (2007). 500 Years of Chicana Women’s History. Rutgers University Press.

History: Woman of color health justice activism

Smith, S. (1995). Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Black Women’s Health Activism in America, 1890-1950. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Stillman, J. Fried, M.G., & Ross, L, Gutierrez, E. (2004). Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

Contemporary Midwives/Midwifery and Healers of Color

Cook, Katsi. (2002). “Born Into the Hands of Our Own People,” in American Indian Millennium: A Special Edition of Native Americas Journal.

Follett, Joyce. (2005). Interview with Katsi Cook. Voices of Feminism Oral History Project, Smith College.

Gonzales, Patricia. (2012). Red Medicine: Traditional Indigenous Rites of Birthing and Healing. U Arizona Press.

Kornelsen J, Kotaska A, Waterfall P, Willie L, & Wilson D. (2010). The geography of belonging: The experience of birthing at home for First Nations women. Health & Place 16, no. 4:638-645.

White, Evelyn and Monroe, Shafia Mawushi. (1994). Lay Midwifery and the Traditional Child-bearing Group. In It Just Ain’t Fair:The Ethics of Health Care for African Americans, Annette Duer and Sara Goering, Eds. Westport, CT: Praeger Press.

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Jeffrey Allen Nall, PhD

Professor, Public Speaker, Social Critic

Radical Doula

Where social justice & birth activism meet

Mamas of Color Rising

poor and working-class mamas of color organizing for revolutionary social change in austin, texas

Using Lessons from BIRTH to Create Inspiration for LIFE

Musings From The Mind of Sista Midwife

Midwives of Color

Information for Midwives of Color in North America

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