• Safe in a Midwife's Hands: Birthing Traditions from Africa to the American South

Safe in a Midwife's Hands: Birthing Traditions from Africa to the American South

Interviews Black midwives in Africa and the US to detail birthing and postpartum traditions as vital cultural practices that counterbalance racism within medical systems.

Ms. Magazine “Most Anticipated Feminist Book of 2023”

After a less-than-positive experience giving birth as a Black woman in the 1970s, Linda Janet Holmes launched a lifetime of work as an activist dedicated to learning about and honoring alternative birth traditions and the Black women behind them. Safe in a Midwife’s Hands brings together what Holmes has gleaned from the countless midwives who have shared with her their experiences, at a time when their knowledge and holistic approaches are essential counterbalances to a medical system that routinely fails Black mothers and babies. Building on work she began in the 1980s, when she interviewed traditional Black midwives in Alabama and Virginia, Holmes traveled to Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya to visit midwives there. In detailing their work, from massage to the uses of medicinal plants to naming ceremonies, she links their voices to those of midwives and doulas in the US. She thus illuminates parallels between birthing traditions that have survived hundreds of years of colonialism, enslavement, Jim Crow, and ongoing medical racism to persist as vital cultural practices that promote healthy outcomes for mothers and babies during pregnancy, birth, and beyond.
Regular price

Check out our shop on bookshop.org to order and still support us ♥

discover more in this category •
discover more in this category •
discover more in this category •
discover more in this category •
discover more in this category •
discover more in this category •
discover more in this category •
discover more in this category •

Stay Informed. We're building a community committed to celebrating Black authors + artisans. Subscribe to keep up with all things Kindred Stories.