The invisible birth bag of white privilege

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May 22, 2012 by AROMidwifery

“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” is a classic article discussing white privilege and the process of understanding and unlearning racism for white people in the United States.  We highly recommend reading the article in it’s entirety before taking a look at some midwifery specific points below. It is a wonderful and very readable article.

Here is the article:

We’ve added some ways that white people are privileged in the United States in the context of midwifery.

As a white midwife or aspiring midwife:

1. I  can easily see images of people of my skin color in natural childbirth and midwifery books and videos.

2. If there are other midwives in my region, I can reasonably expect to find other midwives of my skin color to interact with for support, education, and peer review.

3. If there are midwifery preceptors in my region, I can reasonably expect to find a midwifery preceptor of my skin color.

4. I don’t have to wonder if I was not accepted to an apprenticeship because of my skin color.

5. I don’t have to wonder if clients question my competence because of my skin color.

6. I can be reasonably well assured that the leaders of midwifery organizations I join are of my same skin color.

7. I am not expected to speak for all midwives of my skin color when I speak on a topic.

8. Midwives who look like me and live outside this country are not considered exotic, primitive, backwards or essential midwives.

9. I can reasonably expect that a history of midwifery will include  representations of midwives who look like me, and that those representations will include individual specific midwives, not generalizations.


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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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