Professor Alicia D. Bonaparte Speaks about Birth Justice at UCSF Reproductive Health Program

Pitzer College Associate Professor of Sociology Alicia D. Bonaparte

Claremont, Calif. (April 20, 2022)—Pitzer College Associate Professor of Sociology Alicia D. Bonaparte will deliver a virtual talk, “Black Birth ≠ Black Maternal Mortality: Using Birth Justice to Resist Pathology Narratives about Black Birthing Experiences,” for the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) on Thursday, April 21. Based at the University of California, San Francisco, ANSIRH is a research program that informs the most pressing debates on reproductive health, rights, and access.

“Fearmongering is a constant refrain within conversations about Black birthing experiences,” Bonaparte says. “This talk is a refutation against the idea that Black birth equals the suffering and deaths of Black birthing parents. I outline how the presence of Black midwives today and the legacy of Black grand midwives persists in the care designed to support Black birthing people thanks to a deepened embrace of birth justice.”

In her talk, Bonaparte says she will “highlight the work of midwife-activist Jennie Joseph and other birth justice-oriented organizations and individuals to showcase the positive experience Black birthing people have and the legacy of safe and supportive births among Black people in the US.”

Bonaparte is the co-editor of Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnancy, and Childbirth and the author of the forthcoming book Labors of Birthing Work: The Persecution and Prosecution of Granny Midwives in South Carolina, to be published by University of South Carolina Press. A medical sociologist, Bonaparte’s courses at Pitzer include Wokeness in African American Social Theory and Sociology of Health and Medicine. Bonaparte earned her BA at Spelman College and her MA and PhD at Vanderbilt University.

Bonaparte’s talk will take place via Zoom on Thursday, April 21, at 3 p.m. If you would like to virtually attend this talk, please email clara.cook@ucsf.edu.

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