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ASALH W. Marvin Dulaney D/FW ASALH Branch Virtual Book Review: Listen to Me Good: The Story of an Alabama Midwife
May 14 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm CDT
Margaret Charles Smith, a ninety-one-year-old Alabama midwife, has thousands of birthing stories to tell. Despite claims that midwives contributed to high infant mortality rates. Local women servicing as midwives were an important part of the community; they assisted with birthing and helped with household chores while the new mother recovered. Practices that paralleled African traditions included: abdominal massage and palpation during pregnancy; beliefs in marking babies prenatal impressions; soups highly seasoned with pepper to encourage uterine contractions; medicinal baths at the onset of labor; maintaining a birth fire into the postpartum period; burial of the placenta near a tree; place a sharp…etc.
Within this book several midwives stories are told, “In grim references to what they called, the dark days.” Eating from pig troughs, praying into tin tubs filled with water to mute the sound, using mandated passes for travel, and being raped by white men. This book looks at the past, present and future of midwifery. The last section of the book review will consist of one of my cousins a current midwives who will answer questions and explains how times have changed after slavery, but yet remains the same.
Zoom link will be provided on the 05/14/2022