Killing the Black Body

Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0804152594
Category: Social Science
Page: 384
View: 1331

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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: 5887

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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: 8592

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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: 1049

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This groundbreaking book by the acclaimed Dorothy Roberts examines how the myth of biological concept of race—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 by one of the nation’s leading legal scholars and social critics.

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: 3610

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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.

Bodies of Knowledge

Sexuality, Reproduction, and Women's Health in the Second Wave
Author: Wendy Kline
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226443086
Category: History
Page: 202
View: 6418

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Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, women argued that unless they gained access to information about their own bodies, there would be no equality. In Bodies of Knowledge, Wendy Kline considers the ways in which ordinary women worked to position the female body at the center of women’s liberation. As Kline shows, the struggle to attain this knowledge unified women but also divided them—according to race, class, sexuality, or level of professionalization. Each of the five chapters of Bodies of Knowledge examines a distinct moment or setting of the women’s movement in order to give life to the ideas, expectations, and pitfalls encountered by the advocates of women’s health: the making of Our Bodies, Ourselves (1973); the conflicts surrounding the training and practice of women’s pelvic exams; the emergence of abortion as a feminist issue; the battles over contraceptive regulation at the 1983 Depo-Provera FDA hearings; and the rise of the profession of midwifery. Including an epilogue that considers the experiences of the daughters of 1970s feminists, Bodies of Knowledge is an important contribution to the study of the bodies—that marked the lives—of feminism’s second wave.

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: 3297

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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.

Women of Color and the Reproductive Rights Movement


Author: Jennifer Nelson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814758797
Category: Social Science
Page: 225
View: 8256

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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: 3459

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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.

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: 4261

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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.

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: 6911

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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.

Pregnancy and Power

A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America
Author: Rickie Solinger
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814798284
Category: History
Page: 303
View: 3876

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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.

Reproductive Justice

An Introduction
Author: Loretta Ross,Rickie Solinger
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520288181
Category: Social Science
Page: 360
View: 5782

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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 Price for Their Pound of Flesh

The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation
Author: Daina Ramey Berry
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807047627
Category: SOCIAL SCIENCE
Page: 262
View: 8926

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"Groundbreaking look at slaves as commodities through every phase of life, from birth to death and beyond, in early America The Price for Their Pound of Flesh is the first book to explore the economic value of enslaved people through every phase of their lives--including from before birth to after death--in the American domestic slave trades. Covering the full "life cycle" (including preconception, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, the senior years, and death), historian Daina Berry shows the lengths to which slaveholders would go to maximize profits. She draws from over ten years of research to explore how enslaved people responded to being appraised, bartered, and sold. By illuminating their lives, Berry ensures that the individuals she studies are regarded as people, not merely commodities. Analyzing the depth of this monetization of human property will change the way we think about slavery, reparations, capitalism, and nineteenth-century medical education"--

Reproductive Politics


Author: Rickie Solinger
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199811415
Category: Political Science
Page: 213
View: 1875

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A concise, comprehensive guide to reproductive politics in America

Shattered Bonds

The Color Of Child Welfare
Author: Dorothy Roberts
Publisher: Civitas Books
ISBN: 0786730641
Category: Social Science
Page: 352
View: 8058

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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.

Is the Fetus a Person?

A Comparison of Policies Across the Fifty States
Author: Jean Reith Schroedel
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801437076
Category: Health & Fitness
Page: 223
View: 338

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Without a doubt, the sharpest public debates over the value of fetal life have revolved around the conditions, if any, under which abortion should be legal. Yet the question of whether the fetus is or is not a person is central in two other policy domains: substance abuse by pregnant women and assaults on pregnant women, especially assaults that cause the death of a fetus.At first glance, all three issues seem similar—all ask the question of how the state should respond to actions that threaten or destroy fetal life. But the response of state and society to each has been very different: while the highly charged debate over abortion rights rages unabated, the other two issues engender no such social or political divisions. And while drug use and third-party fetal killings are universally condemned, "fetal abuse" is a term used only to describe harm that a pregnant woman brings to her own fetus, and not harm brought to it by a third party. Similarly, a great deal of media attention has been paid to such "fetal abuse," while the question of third-party harm has been all but ignored.Is the Fetus a Person? analyzes fetal personhood by examining all of the major areas of the law that could implicitly or explicitly award the fetus such status. Jean Reith Schroedel presents a comprehensive history of fetal protection ideas and policies in America, considering the moral and legal underpinnings of existing laws while paying particular attention to the influence of gender and power relations on their formation. As much a model for future research as a study of the status of the fetus, this book offers an extraordinary examination of one of the most divisive and complex issues of late-twentieth-century American life.

Brown Bodies, White Babies

The Politics of Cross-Racial Surrogacy
Author: Laura Harrison
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479808172
Category: Medical
Page: 320
View: 2565

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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.

Fertile Matters

The Politics of Mexican-Origin Women's Reproduction
Author: Elena R. Gutiérrez
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292779186
Category: Political Science
Page: 221
View: 594

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While the stereotype of the persistently pregnant Mexican-origin woman is longstanding, in the past fifteen years her reproduction has been targeted as a major social problem for the United States. Due to fear-fueled news reports and public perceptions about the changing composition of the nation's racial and ethnic makeup—the so-called Latinization of America—the reproduction of Mexican immigrant women has become a central theme in contemporary U. S. politics since the early 1990s. In this exploration, Elena R. Gutiérrez considers these public stereotypes of Mexican American and Mexican immigrant women as "hyper-fertile baby machines" who "breed like rabbits." She draws on social constructionist perspectives to examine the historical and sociopolitical evolution of these racial ideologies, and the related beliefs that Mexican-origin families are unduly large and that Mexican American and Mexican immigrant women do not use birth control. Using the coercive sterilization of Mexican-origin women in Los Angeles as a case study, Gutiérrez opens a dialogue on the racial politics of reproduction, and how they have developed for women of Mexican origin in the United States. She illustrates how the ways we talk and think about reproduction are part of a system of racial domination that shapes social policy and affects individual women's lives.

Black Body

Women, Colonialism, and Space
Author: Radhika Mohanram
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816635436
Category: Social Science
Page: 250
View: 980

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From Algeria to the Antipodes, the female black body, when viewed through the colonial lens, represents all that is dangerous and unknown in an alien land. Its true significance can be understood only through the concept of space, because a "black body" is understood as "black" only outside of its context, its "place" -- and a female black body is doubly out of place. Yet for all its importance to racial identity, Radhika Mohanram argues, space has been submerged and overlooked in postcolonial theory. Accordingly, she develops in Black Body a theory of identity situated within space and place rather than the more familiar models of identity formation that emphasize time. Mohanram's emphasis on space brings out the connections among various strands in postcolonial studies: the politics of displacement, the concept of diasporic identity versus indigenous identity, the identity of woman in the nation and the spatial construction of femininity, the association of the black body with nature and landscape and the white body with knowledge. Drawing on the work of Fanon. Merleau-Ponty, and Levi-Strauss, Black Body interrogates theories produced in the Northern Hemisphere and questions their value for the Southern Hemisphere. The relationship between the female black body and the white male body effectively and tellingly parallels the relationship between the two hemispheres.