Killing the Black Body

Killing the Black Body

Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

Book - 2017
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"In 1997, this groundbreaking book made a powerful entrance into the national conversation on race. In a media landscape dominated by racially biased images of welfare queens and crack babies, Killing the black body exposed 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 pointed to the devaluation of Black motherhood--and the neglect of Black women's reproductive needs in mainstream feminist and civil rights agendas. Now, some two decades later, Killing the Black body remains as crucial as ever--a rallying cry for education, awareness, and action on extending reproductive justice to all women"--Page 4 of cover.
Publisher: New York :, Vintage Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC,, 2017
Edition: Second Vintage books edition, Twentieth anniversary edition
Description: xxi, 375 pages ; 21 cm
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780679758693
Branch Call Number: 304.660973 Rob


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Mar 03, 2021

I probably don't have my full-fledged feminist card as I've never really read much non-fiction about reproductive rights. So, it was especially interesting for me in that I learned a lot in general & also more specifically about how/why the white perspective (conservative &/or liberal) often differs from the Black perspective on reproductive rights & body autonomy. Sometimes the end goals may be the same, but the reasoning is different. Sometimes the end goals may be different for a variety of reasons. Lots of history, culture, race, & legal information here; lots of food for thought & discussion. Fascinating & eye-opening, but also chilling, heartbreaking, & infuriating.

(I would love to see an updated addendum to cover the years since this was first published in the 1990s, but I know that would be a major undertaking for the author.)

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