Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

In Killing the Black Body, Dorothy Roberts gives a powerful and authoritative account of the on going assault both figurative and literal waged by the American government and our society on the reproductive rights of Black women From an intersection of charged vectors race, gender, motherhood, abortion, welfare, adoption, and the law , Roberts addresses in her impaIn Killing the Black Body, Dorothy Roberts gives a powerful and authoritative account of the on going assault both figurative and literal waged by the American government and our society on the reproductive rights of Black women From an intersection of charged vectors race, gender, motherhood, abortion, welfare, adoption, and the law , Roberts addresses in her impassioned book such issues as the notion of prenatal property imposed upon slave women by white masters the unsavory association between birth control champion Margaret Sanger and the eugenics movement of the 1920s the coercive sterilization of Black women many of whom were unaware that they had undergone the procedure under government welfare programs as late as the 1970s the race and class implications of distributing risky, long acting contraceptives, such as Norplant, through Medicaid the rendering of reproduction as a crime of prosecuting women who expose their fetuses to drugs the controversy over transracial adoption the welfare debate who should pay for reproduction and the promotion of the new birth technology in vitro fertilization and egg donation to serve infertile white couples.
Killing the Black Body Race Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty In Killing the Black Body Dorothy Roberts gives a powerful and authoritative account of the on going assault both figurative and literal waged by the American government and our society on the reprod

  • Title: Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty
  • Author: Dorothy Roberts
  • ISBN: 9780679442264
  • Page: 234
  • Format: Hardcover
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      Published :2018-04-15T00:22:39+00:00

    1 thought on “Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty”

    1. simialar to The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, this book uses the existing racial caste system and social dynamics of poverty to look at reproductive questions - both abortion as well as ivf and other fertility treatments. the author does a fantastic job with that. the only drawback for me was there was too much time spent discussing constitutional theory, specifically whether a liberty based view or an equality based view is better. while i suppose that is import [...]

    2. Important book. I'm just being smarmy with the recommendation: this is essential reading for anyone who wishes to clarify her or his perspective on reproductive rights.Roberts is good: even if you're no beginner when it comes to understanding how oppression of some groups contributes in less-than-obvious ways to the oppression of others, and how the interests of some relatively privileged women have not just eclipsed but seriously undermined the interests of less-privileged others, this book wil [...]

    3. When I first read this book it was sophomore year of College, and it was assigned for one of the most enlightening courses offered - Prisons, Punishment, and Democracy. Recently I wanted to revisit the horrible truths revealed/explored in the texts assigned in the course. "Killing The Black Body" is certainly not a light read, but if you're looking for honest information about shocking political policies, Black history, the truth about the exploitation of Black women and the forced control of th [...]

    4. A very important book on the history of medical abuse meted out upon women of color and how this practice, rooted in racism and the epitome of objectification, unfortunately still continues today. While Dorothy (whose other writings on bioethics I've enjoyed) lays an important outline of oppression and abuse of (mostly) black women medically, she mentions-- but doesn't much chronicle-- their resistance to these practices leaving the reader unsatisfied. Stories of resistance are just as important [...]

    5. When people try to argue that racism and/or sexism are over in America, they should be required to read this book. When they use phrases like "two-term Black president" or "men's rights" they should try to see what the fuck is actually going on in this country.I read this book in 2006. It's stuck with me. But at the end of the day I know I experienced it from a position of white privilege and all I can be is horrified.

    6. "A broader understanding of reproductive freedom does not reject abortion rights in favor of a right to procreate. Rather, it sees the right to terminate a pregnancy as one part of a broader right to autonomy over ones body and ones reproductive decisionmaking."This is a thoughtful and meticulously documented treatise on reproductive freedom, which Roberts defines as distinct from conventional notions of "choice." Roberts places black women's reproductive self-determination at the center of her [...]

    7. Although Dorothy Roberts may have written this analysis of challenges for black women's reproductive rights in the late 1990s, it is, if anything, even more depressingly relevant today. Many white feminists get a bad rap for focusing on abortion rights to the exclusion of all else in the world of reproductive politics, and Roberts incisively highlights this by raising the issues of coercing long-acting contraception through public programs and punishments mothers on welfare receive for their sti [...]

    8. This is one of those fantastic books that is desperately in need of a revised or second edition. Roberts analysis is as insightful and powerful as ever, yet many of the examples that figure prominently in "Killing the Black Body" date from the Clinton years. While they remain useful, an updated version would extend these into the contemporary "War on Women" setting. I particularly appreciated the final chapter on the meaning of reproductive liberty v. equality.This is an excellent book for anyon [...]

    9. Its a very college level book so as a highschooler i found it hard to understand at some times. It was very straight forward and hit very intresting points that i think some people are scared to talk about. Race. It shows how black women are shown as welfare rats and have no goal or anything. I think everyone should read this. Everyone.

    10. This was really an excelent book if you'd like to learn about the ways our society has consistantly discriminated against Black/poor women's reproductive rights. My problem was that it felt like she was ignoring the class issues to focus on the race issues, or she acted as if they were somehow one in the same. As if all poor people are Black. Umm, no.

    11. Everyone out there should read this book. I stumbled upon this book when I was doing some research about poor black women and how the government controls their homes, bodies and who stays with them in a home.

    12. Dense and exhaustive, the case Roberts makes is rock solid. If reproductive rights for black women simply means access to birth control and abortion to you, then you are the target audience for this book.

    13. I was first introduced to this book via excerpts that were assigned in college courses on race and reproductive health. The excerpts alone were very fascinating, but I do believe that this is a book that should be consumed in its entirety. Dorothy Roberts' argument, that Black women have long been denied reproductive autonomy (and worse, that this structural denial of reproductive justice threatens the liberty of all women and all Black people), is thoroughly researched and documented. I challen [...]

    14. Reading this book, I felt like I wanted to create the opposite of an inspirational calendar, for white people to read. Those who benefit from a system of White Supremacy could have daily historical reminders culled from this book, like:-When enslaved children died because of poor conditions, coroners would usually blame the mother for smothering the child in her sleep.-Raping enslaved people, including children, was not considered a crime. The only time it would be considered in the courts was a [...]

    15. 2.5. I found the first half of the book, including the Norplant and birth control vaccine debate, to be very engaging and historically important. The second half of the book, however, was difficult to get through. Some of Roberts' arguments -- such her claim in "The Welfare Debate" that black women are being punished for having children -- are a bit of an intellectual leap. Instinctively, I feel that her belief is right; academically, I wanted to see that connection made concretely in the text. [...]

    16. This book is incredibly dense and, I think, shocks out with hard logic any malingering subtle racisms of even the most "evolved" white reader. As a frequent reader of race theory I can say positively that I have not been, adjusted for learning, by any other work so confronted with what I can but hope is the last of my racism; I traditionally have some eco-fascist sympathies and prior to this monumental work I must say that I was a decently hardcore nonracial eugenics-supporter, but Roberts taugh [...]

    17. This book is a comprehensive argument at how historically and currently black women have been denied autonomy over their procreative decisions. Starting with slavery where black female slaves were either impregnated by their white masters or other male black slaves, usually not of their choosing, in order to create a larger labor force and increased wealth for white plantation owners. We also see how the eugenics movement, the feminist movement, the antiabortion movement, and even political libe [...]

    18. LJ user littlemousling :Professor Roberts chronicles the American history of white control over black female reproduction from colonialism and slavery up through the present. She covers everything you've heard of ("At no time in America was it illegal to rape a slave," Mississippi appendectomies, Margaret Sanger) and more that you haven't. It made me cry, a lot, and I've had occasion to reference it about a kajillion times since I read it. It's comprehensive, and it's fantastic.

    19. Wow. This is one of the best books I've read in a while. Granted, I just finished it five minutes ago, so I'm aware that I'll be able to write about it more coherently later, once I've had time to let it settle into my system. But I couldn't put this down (except for the times when the stuff addressed made me throw it across the room and scream at it). Basically, if you care about reproductive issues, this is a must-read. It was published fourteen years ago. Shame on me for not reading it sooner [...]

    20. A really great book on how social policy has been enacted in extreme ways to control the reproductive rights of black women from historical American slavery to current welfare policy. Well-written and accessible, though a bit dated since its publication in the mid 1990s.

    21. A must-read for anyone interested in reproductive rights. Roberts makes an important intervention in what have often been treated as "white women's issues," shifting the conversation surrounding birth control, abortion, and reproductive freedom from individual liberty to social justice.

    22. Amazing! Incredible! I learned so much about the intersection of race and reproductive rights that I otherwise would have been ignorant to!

    23. As someone who is already highly informed on reproductive rights issues, many of the things discussed in this book were already familiar to me. Yet Roberts still managed to blow me away with some of the egregious violations she highlights, particularly in Chapter 4, which focuses on the use of the criminal justice system to infringe on (especially black women's) reproductive rights. For instance, I had no idea that the terms of probation could require a woman not to become pregnant or to specifi [...]

    24. I just had to stop reading this book and add it to my Abandoned pile. I came into it with so many expectations and having heard so many good things I ordered it offline and once it was delivered I immediately started to read it. The first part of the book was really good,especially the part of the book about black women,particularly slaves,who took their reproduction into their own hands with herbs etc. I'm happy that she showed how we took back our reproductive rights and just how strong we wer [...]

    25. This is my last text from college that I own which I hadn't actually read. I'm really glad I held onto it and finally finished it. This book gave me a new perspective into our country's reproductive rights history, and one which everyone should have. Some of this information I knew, but the level of detail and analysis was extremely helpful and interesting.In some ways, I'm glad that I waited to read it--the author is an attorney and offers some very interesting constitutional analysis that I'm [...]

    26. really complete and thorough, would be super useful if you’re looking for relevant court cases and stuff bc she uses so much evidence, a lot of the awful shit she was talking about was stuff i haven’t seen discussed elsewhere, especially the stuff about the history and present of eugenics in the US. It was written a few years after backlash and was helpful to read right after, both have parts addressing how reproduction was treated during backlash years but Roberts addresses in a lot of deta [...]

    27. This book remains one of my favorite all-time books. I read it years ago and find myself returning to it again and again.

    28. Intense overview of eugenics discourse and the reproductive rights of black women, from colonial times to the present.

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