Black Mama Maternal Mortality is Real

Slide22Black women are dying during childbirth or shortly after at alarming rates. Studies show that most of their deaths are preventable. As we spend today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday, honoring the legacy of the movement this amazing man was the face of, let’s think about what it means to have so many black mothers dying at such an alarming rate in 2018. Let’s read Serena Williams story about how she had to take control of the medical care she was receiving to ensure her survival. Let’s remember Erica Garner who died just four months after welcoming her second child into the world. Let’s think of the not so well known black mothers who regardless of their socio-economic standing, have fallen victim to racial biases that have threatened to or have taken their lives. Let’s honor them and educate ourselves for our own survival.

Here is a collection of articles and stories related to black maternal mortality from gynecology’s racist roots to what we are facing today:

  1. The Racist Roots of Gynecology and What Black Women Birthed was published in Wear Your Voice Magazine and gives a biographical background of the racist practices that gynecology is rooted in.  
  2. The Disturbing Reason why some African American Patients May be Undertreated for Pain was featured in The Washington Post and summarizes a study of medical students conducted by the University of Virginia that reveals some disturbing information about how they perceive Black patients.
  3. After Erica Garner’s Death, We Need To Talk About How Maternal Mortality Affects Black Women was posted in Bustle and details how Erica Garner’s death could be attributed to her giving birth four months prior.
  4. For Serena Williams, Childbirth Was a Harrowing Ordeal. She’s Not Alone. is a New York Times article detailing Serena Williams’ life threatening postpartum experience.
  5. As Erica Garner is Mourned, Why Are Black Mothers in NYC Dying at 12 Times Rate of White Mothers? This is a Democracy Now interview with Shannon Jones of the anti-police brutality group Why Accountability that connects the Black Lives Matter movement to black maternal mortality issues in New York and other places in the United States.
  6. I wanted to also include this story that was featured on my local news station, KTVU, about a family that became homeless after the mother of the family faced complications during childbirth.
  7. Meet the Activists Fighting to Keep Pregnant Black Women from Dying is a story featured on Fusion TV in conjunction to a documentary they produced on the topic of black maternal mortality in the US.
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