Presentation Information

Shafia M. Monroe

The History of the African American Midwife and the ICTC

  • Speaker: Shafia M. Monroe , DEM, CDT, MPH
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 ACM CPD, 1 ACNM CEU, 0.1 Midwifery CEU

The African American Midwife had a vital role in advancing women's health in the United States, using traditional and public health practices. There are numerous articles, books and documentaries giving historical accounts of the impact of the Black midwife in providing care in the direst circumstances, helping birthing women, their partners and family, have sacred and safe deliveries. How did the Black midwife come near to extinction, and how do we create a revival for her return within the ranks of the midwife profession. By understanding the history of the Black midwife in the US, we can examine the shortage of Black midwives in the profession, the need to diversify the midwifery workforce, with collaborations to improve birth outcomes for women of color. The Black midwives taught women how to be mothers and taught men how to be good fathers, and played a major role in shaping cultural perceptions of motherhood as well as functioning as officiate in the rite of passage of becoming a mother. Wilkie (2003) writes, “In addition to their medical expertise, Black midwives were bearers of cultural and communal standards.” Collins (1994) termed the work done on behalf of one’s own biological children or the community as “mother work.” Collins (1994) and Wilkie (2003) found, that Black midwives of the pre- and post-civil war in the South were generational and cultural mediators interpreting “mothering” ideologies during enslavement, as well as the violent transition after freedom into the first part of the twentieth century definitions of white American role as mothers. The Black midwife answered a calling and assumed the social role in response to her community’s need (Monroe 2010 and Wilkie (2003).

Live Presentation Schedule

Mar 1, 2016