#Birth HERstory - Aunt Hattie is my maternal grandmother's, Clara Ryans Gray's, younger sister and her only living sibling. When I go visit family members in Alabama, I have an opportunity visit her and she allows us to record her. I am grateful that she is willing to talk to me about her birth experiences and life growing up in the Hale County, Alabama. The video I am sharing is from August of 2015 and she was 87 years old. She had a birthday this week and now she is 89 years old. What a gift!
When we drove up two summers ago, she was sitting on her porch working on one of her quilts. She began by listing her siblings' names and telling the story about how she lost her oldest, Clara Lee. She went on to recount her memories of the midwives that "waited" on her during her births and her recollection of how the Black midwives transitioned with the medical profession was intriguing.
You can share the birth stories and traditions from your family's past at the bottom of the page. The more our African American elders can tell us about their journeys, the more equipped we will be for our own.
(It may help to listen to this video with a speaker or earbuds. We were in a rural area recording this and competing with the insects and other aspects of nature.)
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.