The Women Who Caught The Babies: A Story of African American Midwives
Long before there were obstetricians and high-risk hospitals, most pregnancies were overseen by midwives. In this short book, poet and author, Eloise Greenfield, uses prose to explore the history of African American midwives in America. Other than the introduction, all of the book is told in unrhymed lines, bits and pieces of history interwoven with more intimate narratives. The poems are accompanied by the lovely artwork of Daniel Minter, a painter and illustrator with a long history of illustrious pieces. The art is filled with blues, yellows, and reds, and creates a cohesive theme that permeates the entire book. The poetry, meanwhile, is beautifully written and full of visuals that will stick in readers’ minds long after they finish reading it. Also fascinating are the photographs scattered throughout, which truly give readers a glimpse of African American midwives. The introduction does an excellent job condensing such a weighty subject into just a few short paragraphs, while the poems tell the real story. This slim book is insightful and thoughtful, and will speak to anyone interested in African American history, American history, birth history, or any and all. The Women Who Caught the Babies is an interesting book that will require many readings to fully appreciate.
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