#BirthHERstory - In light of the legislation that is going forth regarding the legalization of midwives in Alabama this week, I wanted to share some of the conversations I have had with my great aunt over the past couple of years. In this telephone conversation, I asked Aunt Hattie questions about common practices surrounding birth with Black midwives during her childbearing years in rural Alabama during the earlier part of the 20th century.
Sidenote: In the south, some refer to where you spent your childhood as your "stompin' grounds". I have included some pictures of my grandparents' house where we spent each summer. In my mind, I still see the apple tree where she got her apples to make her apple turnovers. I see the corn stalks, the okra, the watermelon patch, the green beans and the black eyed peas in the field, tomatoes, potatoes... (YOU NAME IT! Lol!) I hear the cow, the hogs and see the chickens walking around in their chicken coop laying brown eggs. The roads were unpaved back then and you could tell who was coming down the road just by listening to the sound the tires made on the red dirt road. We ran paths through the woods to get up to Aunt Hattie's house and could see every constellation in the night sky. I have a fond memories of my summer stompin' grounds and now I am reaching back to grasp some of the stories that I missed about being a birthing woman in the south.
Listen to the the video below and let me know if any of this seems familiar to you or a family member. Share the stories from your family's past and traditions here on this site. The more our African American elders can tell us about their journeys, the more equipped we will be for our own.
My work is informed by my background – experiences, expertise, exposure, education & environment – as a woman, mother, wife, sister, educator, researcher, scholar, advocate, birth ally and legacy builder. These stories and traditions featured on this blog are shared by individuals who desire to preserve African American women's stories by sharing these women's experiences surrounding childbirth.