Starting at the turn of the 20th century most African-American midwives in the South were gradually excluded from reproductive health care. Here Gertrude Fraser shows how physicians, public health personnel and state legislators mounted a campaign ostensibly to improve maternal and infant health, especially in rural areas. They brought traditional midwives under the control of a supervisory body, and eventually eliminated them. The author explores a number of ideas about race, gender the relationship of medicine to society and the status of the South in the national political and social economies.
Gertrude Jacinta Fraser is Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Virginia.
Acknowledgments Prologue I. The Body Politic 1. Introduction 2. Midwives and the Body Politic 3. Race and Regulation 4. Race and Mortality II. Authoritative Knowledge 5. Nurses and Midwives in the Classroom 6. The Logic of Prenatal Care III. Memory and Experience 7. On Silence and Memory 8. Changed Bodies, Changed Communities 9. The Social Context of Midwifery 10. Pregnancy and Birthing 11. The Postpartum 12. Conclusion Notes References Index