Killing the Black Body

Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0804152594
Category: Social Science
Page: 384
View: 5558

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The image of the “Welfare Queen” still dominates white America’s perceptions of Black women. It is an image that also continues to shape our government’s policies concerning Black women’s reproductive decisions. Proposed legislation to alleviate poverty focuses on plans to deny benefits to children born to welfare mothers and to require insertion of birth control implants as a condition of receiving aid. Meanwhile a booming fertility industry serves primarily infertile white couples. In Killing the Black Body, Northwestern University professor Dorothy Roberts exposes America’s systemic abuse of Black women’s bodies, from slave masters’ economic stake in bonded women’s fertility to government programs that coerced thousands of poor Black women into being sterilized as late as the 1970s. These abuses, Roberts argues, point not only to the degradation of Black motherhood but to the exclusion of Black women’s reproductive needs from the feminist agenda. Groundbreaking, authoritative, and timely, Killing the Black Body is both a powerful legal argument and a valuable aid for teachers, activists, and policy makers in creating a vision of reproductive freedom that respects each and every American.

Killing the Black Body

Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
Author: Dorothy E. Roberts
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 0679758690
Category: Social Science
Page: 373
View: 8413

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A powerful, thought-provoking indictment of America's continuing assault on the reproductive rights of black women ranges from the era of slavery to the welfare reform acts of the 1990s that penalize women on welfare for having babies. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Killing the Black Body

Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
Author: Dorothy E. Roberts
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: N.A
Category: Social Science
Page: 373
View: 9001

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Argues that African American women have been in a long struggle to control their reproductive rights, from slavery to government efforts at forcible contraception

Fatal Invention

How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Publisher: New Press/ORIM
ISBN: 1595586911
Category: Science
Page: 400
View: 9290

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An incisive, groundbreaking book that examines how a biological concept of race is a myth that promotes inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Though the Human Genome Project proved that human beings are not naturally divided by race, the emerging fields of personalized medicine, reproductive technologies, genetic genealogy, and DNA databanks are attempting to resuscitate race as a biological category written in our genes. This groundbreaking book by legal scholar and social critic Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of race as a biological concept—revived by purportedly cutting-edge science, race-specific drugs, genetic testing, and DNA databases—continues to undermine a just society and promote inequality in a supposedly “post-racial” era. Named one of the ten best black nonfiction books 2011 by AFRO.com, Fatal Invention offers a timely and “provocative analysis” (Nature) of race, science, and politics that “is consistently lucid . . . alarming but not alarmist, controversial but evidential, impassioned but rational” (Publishers Weekly, starred review). “Everyone concerned about social justice in America should read this powerful book.” —Anthony D. Romero, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union “A terribly important book on how the ‘fatal invention’ has terrifying effects in the post-genomic, ‘post-racial’ era.” —Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor of sociology, Duke University, and author of Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States “Fatal Invention is a triumph! Race has always been an ill-defined amalgam of medical and cultural bias, thinly overlaid with the trappings of contemporary scientific thought. And no one has peeled back the layers of assumption and deception as lucidly as Dorothy Roberts.” —Harriet A. Washington, author of and Deadly Monopolies: The Shocking Corporate Takeover of Life Itself

Policing the National Body

Sex, Race, and Criminalization
Author: Jael Silliman,Anannya Bhattacharjee,Committee on Women, Population, and the Environment
Publisher: South End Press
ISBN: 9780896086609
Category: Education
Page: 352
View: 9331

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This anthology explores the ways in which women of colour are monitored, criminalised and regulated.*BR**BR*This collection of essays places issues of race, class, and gender at the centre of the reproductive rights and social justice agendas by focusing on a key concern among women of colour and poor communities today — the difficulty of maintaining families and sustaining community in the face of increasing criminalisation and surveillance. *BR**BR*Contributors include Judith Scully, Cynthia Chandler, Carol Kingery, Syd lindsley, Pat Hynes, Janice Hamond, Rajani Bhatia, Betsy Hatman, Andrea Smith, Marlene Fried, Loretta Ross and Anne Hendrixson.

Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement


Author: Jennifer Nelson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814758797
Category: Social Science
Page: 225
View: 3912

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While most people believe that the movement to secure voluntary reproductive control for women centered solely on abortion rights, for many women abortion was not the only, or even primary, focus. Jennifer Nelson tells the story of the feminist struggle for legal abortion and reproductive rights in the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s through the particular contributions of women of color. She explores the relationship between second-wave feminists, who were concerned with a woman's right to choose, Black and Puerto Rican Nationalists, who were concerned that Black and Puerto Rican women have as many children as possible “for the revolution,” and women of color themselves, who negotiated between them. Contrary to popular belief, Nelson shows that women of color were able to successfully remake the mainstream women's liberation and abortion rights movements by appropriating select aspects of Black Nationalist politics—including addressing sterilization abuse, access to affordable childcare and healthcare, and ways to raise children out of poverty—for feminist discourse.

Medical Apartheid

The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
Author: Harriet A. Washington
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780767929394
Category: History
Page: 512
View: 8047

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From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions. The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.

Shattered Bonds

The Color Of Child Welfare
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Publisher: Civitas Books
ISBN: 0786730641
Category: Social Science
Page: 352
View: 3292

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Shattered Bonds is a stirring account of a worsening American social crisis--the disproportionate representation of black children in the U.S. foster care system and its effects on black communities and the country as a whole. Tying the origins and impact of this disparity to racial injustice, Dorothy Roberts contends that child-welfare policy reflects a political choice to address startling rates of black child poverty by punishing parents instead of tackling poverty's societal roots. Using conversations with mothers battling the Chicago child-welfare system for custody of their children, along with national data, Roberts levels a powerful indictment of racial disparities in foster care and tells a moving story of the women and children who earn our respect in their fight to keep their families intact.

Black and Blue

The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism
Author: J. Hoberman
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520274016
Category: Social Science
Page: 293
View: 1533

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Black & Blue is the first systematic description of how American doctors think about racial differences and how this kind of thinking affects the treatment of their black patients. The standard studies of medical racism examine past medical abuses of black people and do not address the racially motivated thinking and behaviors of physicians practicing medicine today. Black & Blue penetrates the physician’s private sphere where racial fantasies and misinformation distort diagnoses and treatments. Doctors have always absorbed the racial stereotypes and folkloric beliefs about racial differences that permeate the general population. Within the world of medicine this racial folklore has infiltrated all of the medical sub-disciplines, from cardiology to gynecology to psychiatry. Doctors have thus imposed white or black racial identities upon every organ system of the human body, along with racial interpretations of black children, the black elderly, the black athlete, black musicality, black pain thresholds, and other aspects of black minds and bodies. The American medical establishment does not readily absorb either historical or current information about medical racism. For this reason, racial enlightenment will not reach medical schools until the current race-aversive curricula include new historical and sociological perspectives.

Our Bodies, Our Crimes

The Policing of Women's Reproduction in America
Author: Jeanne Flavin
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814727913
Category: Social Science
Page: 288
View: 9995

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Drawing on surveys and interviews with almost 300 female military personnel, Melissa Herbert explores how women's everyday actions, such as choice of uniform, hobby, or social activity, involve the creation and re-creation of what it means to be a woman, and particularly a woman soldier. Do women feel pressured to be "more masculine," to convey that they are not a threat to men's jobs or status and to avoid being perceived as lesbians? She also examines the role of gender and sexuality in the maintenance of the male-defined military institution, proposing that, more than sexual harassment or individual discrimination, it is the military's masculine ideology--which views military service as the domain of men and as a mechanism for the achievement of manhood--which serves to limit women's participation in the military has increased dramatically. In the wake of armed conflict involving female military personnel and several sexual misconduct scandals, much attention has focused on what life is like for women in the armed services. Few, however, have examined how these women negotiate an environment that has been structured and defined as masculine.

Reproducing Race

An Ethnography of Pregnancy as a Site of Racialization
Author: Khiara Bridges
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520949447
Category: Social Science
Page: 306
View: 7349

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Reproducing Race, an ethnography of pregnancy and birth at a large New York City public hospital, explores the role of race in the medical setting. Khiara M. Bridges investigates how race—commonly seen as biological in the medical world—is socially constructed among women dependent on the public healthcare system for prenatal care and childbirth. Bridges argues that race carries powerful material consequences for these women even when it is not explicitly named, showing how they are marginalized by the practices and assumptions of the clinic staff. Deftly weaving ethnographic evidence into broader discussions of Medicaid and racial disparities in infant and maternal mortality, Bridges shines new light on the politics of healthcare for the poor, demonstrating how the "medicalization" of social problems reproduces racial stereotypes and governs the bodies of poor women of color.

Undivided Rights

Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice
Author: Jael Silliman,Marlene Gerber Fried,Loretta Ross,Elena Gutiérrez
Publisher: Haymarket Books
ISBN: 1608466647
Category: Social Science
Page: 376
View: 3046

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Undivided Rights captures the evolving and largely unknown activist history of women of color organizing for reproductive justice—on their own behalf. Undivided Rights presents a textured understanding of the reproductive rights movement by placing the experiences, priorities, and activism of women of color in the foreground. Using historical research, original organizational case studies, and personal interviews, the authors illuminate how women of color have led the fight to control their own bodies and reproductive destinies. Undivided Rights shows how women of color—-starting within their own Latina, African American, Native American, and Asian American communities—have resisted coercion of their reproductive abilities. Projected against the backdrop of the mainstream pro-choice movement and radical right agendas, these dynamic case studies feature the groundbreaking work being done by health and reproductive rights organizations led by women-of-color. The book details how and why these women have defined and implemented expansive reproductive health agendas that reject legalistic remedies and seek instead to address the wider needs of their communities. It stresses the urgency for innovative strategies that push beyond the traditional base and goals of the mainstream pro-choice movement—strategies that are broadly inclusive while being specific, strategies that speak to all women by speaking to each woman. While the authors raise tough questions about inclusion, identity politics, and the future of women’s organizing, they also offer a way out of the limiting focus on "choice." Undivided Rights articulates a holistic vision for reproductive freedom. It refuses to allow our human rights to be divvied up and parceled out into isolated boxes that people are then forced to pick and choose among.

Brown Bodies, White Babies

The Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy
Author: Laura Harrison
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479894869
Category: Medical
Page: 320
View: 9373

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Brown Bodies, White Babies focuses on the practice of cross-racial gestational surrogacy, in which a woman - through in-vitro fertilization using the sperm and egg of intended parents or donors - carries a pregnancy for intended parents of a different race. Focusing on the racial differences between parents and surrogates, this book is interested in how reproductive technologies intersect with race, particularly when brown bodies produce white babies. While the potential of reproductive technologies is far from pre-determined, the ways in which these technologies are currently deployed often serve the interests of dominant groups, through the creation of white, middle-class, heteronormative families. Laura Harrison, providing an important understanding of the work of women of color as surrogates, connects this labor to the history of racialized reproduction in the United States. Cross-racial surrogacy is one end of a continuum in which dominant groups rely on the reproductive potential of nonwhite women, whose own reproductive desires have been historically thwarted and even demonized. Brown Bodies, White Babies provides am interdisciplinary analysis that includes legal cases of contested surrogacy, historical examples of surrogacy as a form of racialized reproductive labor, the role of genetics in the assisted reproduction industry, and the recent turn toward reproductive tourism. Joining the ongoing feminist debates surrounding reproduction, motherhood, race, and the body, Brown Bodies, White Babies ultimately critiques the new potentials for parenthood that put the very contours of kinship into question.

Reproductive Politics


Author: Rickie Solinger
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199811415
Category: Political Science
Page: 213
View: 9814

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A concise, comprehensive guide to reproductive politics in America

Reproductive Justice

An Introduction
Author: Loretta Ross,Rickie Solinger
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520288181
Category: Social Science
Page: 360
View: 4305

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Reproductive Justice is a first-of-its-kind primer that provides a comprehensive yet succinct description of the field. Written by two legendary scholar-activists, Reproductive Justice introduces students to an intersectional analysis of race, class, and gender politics. Clearly showing how reproductive justice is a political movement of reproductive rights and social justice, the authors illuminate how, for example, a low-income, physically disabled woman living in West Texas with no viable public transportation, healthcare clinic, or living-wage employment opportunities faces a complex web of structural obstacles as she contemplates her sexual and reproductive intentions. Putting the lives and lived experience of women of color at the center of the book and using a human rights analysis, Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger show how the discussion around reproductive justice differs significantly from the pro-choice/anti-abortion debates that have long dominated the headlines and mainstream political conflict. In a period in which women's reproductive lives are imperiled, Reproductive Justice provides an essential guide to understanding and mobilizing around women's human rights in the twenty-first century. Reproductive Justice: A New Vision for the Twenty-First Century publishes works that explore the contours and content of reproductive justice. The series will include primers intended for students and those new to reproductive justice as well as books of original research that will further knowledge and impact society. Learn more at www.ucpress.edu/go/reproductivejustice.

The Poverty of Privacy Rights


Author: Khiara M. Bridges
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503602303
Category: Law
Page: 296
View: 1560

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The Poverty of Privacy Rights makes a simple, controversial argument: Poor mothers in America have been deprived of the right to privacy. The U.S. Constitution is supposed to bestow rights equally. Yet the poor are subject to invasions of privacy that can be perceived as gross demonstrations of governmental power without limits. Courts have routinely upheld the constitutionality of privacy invasions on the poor, and legal scholars typically understand marginalized populations to have "weak versions" of the privacy rights everyone else enjoys. Khiara M. Bridges investigates poor mothers' experiences with the state—both when they receive public assistance and when they do not. Presenting a holistic view of just how the state intervenes in all facets of poor mothers' privacy, Bridges shows how the Constitution has not been interpreted to bestow these women with family, informational, and reproductive privacy rights. Bridges seeks to turn popular thinking on its head: Poor mothers' lack of privacy is not a function of their reliance on government assistance—rather it is a function of their not bearing any privacy rights in the first place. Until we disrupt the cultural narratives that equate poverty with immorality, poor mothers will continue to be denied this right.

The Wisdom Of Crowds


Author: N.A
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385721706
Category: Social Science
Page: 306
View: 4718

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Looks at the theory that large groups have more collective intelligence than a smaller number of experts, drawing on a wide range of disciplines to offer insight into such topics as politics, business, and the environment.

Pregnancy and Power

A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America
Author: Rickie Solinger
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814798284
Category: History
Page: 303
View: 9485

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Winner of the 2013 Bullough Award presented by the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality The term “intersex” evokes diverse images, typically of people who are both male and female or neither male nor female. Neither vision is accurate. The millions of people with an intersex condition, or DSD (disorder of sex development), are men or women whose sex chromosomes, gonads, or sex anatomy do not fit clearly into the male/female binary norm. Until recently, intersex conditions were shrouded in shame and secrecy: many adults were unaware that they had been born with an intersex condition and those who did know were advised to hide the truth. Current medical protocols and societal treatment of people with an intersex condition are based upon false stereotypes about sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, which create unique challenges to framing effective legal claims and building a strong cohesive movement. InIntersexuality and the Law, Julie A. Greenberg examines the role that legal institutions can play in protecting the rights of people with an intersex condition. She also explores the relationship between the intersex movement and other social justice movements that have effectively utilized legal strategies to challenge similar discriminatory practices. She discusses the feasibility of forming effective alliances and developing mutually beneficial legal arguments with feminists, LGBT organizations, and disability rights advocates to eradicate the discrimination suffered by these marginalized groups.

Body and Soul

The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination
Author: Alondra Nelson
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452933227
Category: History
Page: 289
View: 7585

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The legacy of the Black Panther Party's commitment to community health care, a central aspect of its fight for social justice

Medical Bondage

Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology
Author: Deirdre Cooper Owens
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820351342
Category: Medical
Page: 182
View: 423

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The accomplishments of pioneering doctors such as John Peter Mettauer, James Marion Sims, and Nathan Bozeman are well documented. It is also no secret that these nineteenth-century gynecologists performed experimental caesarean sections, ovariotomies, and obstetric fistula repairs primarily on poor and powerless women. Medical Bondage breaks new ground by exploring how and why physicians denied these women their full humanity yet valued them as “medical superbodies” highly suited for medical experimentation. In Medical Bondage, Cooper Owens examines a wide range of scientific literature and less formal communications in which gynecologists created and disseminated medical fictions about their patients, such as their belief that black enslaved women could withstand pain better than white “ladies.” Even as they were advancing medicine, these doctors were legitimizing, for decades to come, groundless theories related to whiteness and blackness, men and women, and the inferiority of other races or nationalities. Medical Bondage moves between southern plantations and northern urban centers to reveal how nineteenth-century American ideas about race, health, and status influenced doctor-patient relationships in sites of healing like slave cabins, medical colleges, and hospitals. It also retells the story of black enslaved women and of Irish immigrant women from the perspective of these exploited groups and thus restores for us a picture of their lives.