About Black Women Birthing Resistance
CALL FOR BIRTH STORIES! Please visit the “Resistance Stories” Page to see our Call for Birth Stories.
Our Vision is to resist and transform a historical and contemporary legacy of trauma and violence of socially and state controlled birthing.
Our Mission is to document, honor and sustain the role of Black women, families and our traditions of birthing as legacies of survival and resistance against the attempted genocide of our communities.
We will gather birth stories that name the traumatic birthing incidences of Black women & lift up our resistance to the social control of Black women’s bodies by the birth industry in the South. We will use these collective stories to build strategy and action towards responding to and transforming our birth experiences. We seek to sustain our physical, emotional, spiritual, environmental well being and safety, and to honor the sacredness of our birthing traditions.
Over the span of the project we hope to gather stories within 5 Southern states (Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia & Mississippi) from doulas/midwives/ob-gyn’s/reproductive justice, healing and health justice advocates and organizers who are speaking to medical birthing incidences of abuse that highlight the subsequent targeting of Black women’s bodies.
Our work will provide a historical context for Black women’s birth experiences in the South; emboldening Black women to view their individual birth stories within a larger narrative, and to remove the guilt, anger, and shame resulting from traumatic birth experiences. We want to honor all birth experiences of all Black bodies and genders and have chosen to focus on Black women bodies first to understand the medical industry’s initial entry point on our birthing traditions for the last 100 years. By uplifting the impact and consequences of these historical practices we will then be able to draw a link to contemporary Black birthing experiences including l/b/g/t/i/q parents and people with developmental, physical, emotional and environmental disabilities.
The narratives will culminate into the cultural project and tour in Summer 2011 seeking to build cultural awareness and organizing response and strategy to incidences of violence and abuse by the birthing industry. Through this cultural project, we will build political education, critical analysis and action against state by state legislation targeting Black birth workers and birthing traditions in the South.
Conceived and produced by Documentary Artists & Organizers Tamika Middleton & Cara Page (Bios below)
Tamika Middleton is a community organizer, doula, student, and mother. She is passionate about and active in struggles that affect Black women’s lives. As a board member and member of SPARK Reproductive Justice Now’s CORE, she fights for reproductive justice. She is also passionate about birthing and healing, and as such is active with Kindred southern healing justice collective; a member of BLOCS (Building Locally to Organize for Community Safety), and performing member of the NALO Movement. Tamika is a Master’s Candidate in Sociology at Georgia State University. She is mother to future bboy and dj, 3 year old Amani, and believes wholeheartedly in a radical parenting paradigm that challenges oppression within family structures.
We would like to thank the Regeneration Fund of RSF Social Finance for providing us with the initial funding for this project. We would also like to thank Julia Wallace and Alexis Pauline Gumbs for their creative vision and technical support. The project is currently housed at Kindred southern healing justice collective.