Listen To Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife

Overview

Margaret Charles Smith, a ninety-one-year-old Alabama midwife, has thousands of birthing stories to tell. Sifting through nearly five decades of providing care for women in rural Greene County, she relates the tales that capture the life-and-death struggle of the birthing experience and the traditions, pharmacopeia, and spiritual attitudes that influenced her practice. Believed to be the oldest living (though retired) traditional African American midwife in Alabama, Smith is one of the few who can recount ...
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Overview

Margaret Charles Smith, a ninety-one-year-old Alabama midwife, has thousands of birthing stories to tell. Sifting through nearly five decades of providing care for women in rural Greene County, she relates the tales that capture the life-and-death struggle of the birthing experience and the traditions, pharmacopeia, and spiritual attitudes that influenced her practice. Believed to be the oldest living (though retired) traditional African American midwife in Alabama, Smith is one of the few who can recount old-time birthing ways.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Even in recent times, poor African American women living in the rural South often had no access to healthcare. Local women serving as midwives were an important part of the community; they assisted with birthing and helped with household chores while the new mother recovered. Smith, a 91-year-old retired midwife, offers readers a firsthand account of rural lay midwifery and life in a small Alabama town. She describes her formal and informal training, the laws that allowed her to practice and later prohibited her work, the respect of the few local doctors for the lay midwives, and her views on civil rights issues. Smith's dedication, strong religious faith, and dignity are evident throughout this tribute to a tradition of self-care and community support. This fascinating oral history will interest students of the health sciences, women's studies, and history, as well as general readers. Highly recommended for all collections.Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., Cal.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814207017
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1996
  • Series: Women and Health Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 178
  • Sales rank: 1,465,425
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Table of Contents

Series Editors' Preface
Acknowledgments
Chronology
Introduction: Going to Greene County 1
1 Growing Up 17
2 Pregnancy 35
3 Official Midwife 63
4 Birth Practices 82
5 Civil Rights 113
6 Last Days 134
Epilogue 157
Bibliography 161
Index 171
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