Picture Books

The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives

Picture book. By Eloise Greenfield. Illustrated by Daniel Minter. 32 pp. 2019. This unique picture book begins with historical background on the work of midwives and then switches to poetry to tell vignettes from lives of midwives during slavery, emancipation, and today.
Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century
Themes: African American, Slavery and Resistance, Women's History

Renowned children’s book author Eloise Greenfield opens her latest title with a note to readers:

I want to take you back only as far as the Africa of a few hundred years ago. That’s when millions of Africans were forced from their homelands, brought to America, and enslaved. Some of the enslaved were midwives.

This unique picture book begins with historic background on the work of midwives, written in prose that is accessible to young readers and accompanied by archival photographs. The book then switches to poetry and stunningly beautiful illustrations — with vignettes from lives of midwives during slavery, emancipation, and today.

Greenfield closes with a poem about the midwife who “caught” her when she was born, Miss Rovenia Mayo of Parmele, North Carolina. [Description from Rethinking Schools.]

ISBN: 9780997772074 | Published by Alazar Press.

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