Never Done It With A Black Girl
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  • I'm 32 years old


I grew up in a family where race was never discussed in-depth. Of course, we all knew that we were Black and we all agreed that racism was a thing.


The gospel of neoliberalism is a gospel of choices. It says that the pathway to a better life is found in the quality of what and how we choose.

Black women on 'the bachelor' racial reckoning — and how it was a long time coming

For adherents to this perverse form of a social gospel, good choices include doing well in school, saying no to drugs, avoiding teen pregnancy, staying out of debt and never committing any kind of crime. If you break one of these rules and terrible consequences befall you, just remember that this is a world of your own making. For black Americans — especially black women — this gospel is a lie. Racial disparities in maternal health throw this lie into especially sharp relief.

8 things about being a black woman that my mother never told me

Research shows that for black women, the choice to birth children is frequently a life or death decision. Maternal mortality is now worse in this country than it was 25 years ago and black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy related causes.

In the s, Dr. I am now 37 years old. Last year, I received tenure from the institution where I work as a professor.

As I continue to recover from the stresses of my eight-years long, grueling tenure process — not to mention the otherwise stressful life of a professional black woman overachiever — I am left to wonder whether my body is too weathered to successfully carry both me and a baby through a pregnancy. The idea that the choices and accomplishments that I worked so hard to achieve might be the things preventing me from having the personal and lifestyle choices that I wanted is devastating. The idea that the very choices and accomplishments that I worked so hard to achieve might be the very things preventing me from having the kinds of personal and lifestyle choices that I wanted is — in a word — devastating.

My mother had been a teen mom, a choice that curtailed her educational prospects and limited her economic power. I was acutely aware that having a baby too young could derail all my future plans, too. Neoliberal thinking can make you feel like you are in charge of your own destiny. It can make you believe that through sheer strength of will and good choices alone, you can rule your own world. But because the stakes were so incredibly high, it was exceedingly difficult not to become a steadfast adherent to the dictates of neoliberalism.

Then, you reach adulthood, have success and accomplishments in spades and you begin to wonder if perhaps you have overplayed your hand. The indefatigable reach of systems of white supremacy, patriarchy and capitalism shatters the Invictus-fueled fantasy that most of us are taught to believe.

We are not the masters of our fate. Black mothering has always been caught in the tricky maze of power relationships that shaped the founding of the United States.

2. if you can’t get along with other black women, you just might be the problem.

Black women were transported here as breeders to provide birth free laborers for the American republic. After emancipation, black women struggled to protect their progeny, and to resuscitate black motherhood from conservative narratives about welfare queens draining public resources.

My mother came of age in the aftermath of the infamous Moynihan Report and became a teen mother one month after Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency. To learn more about Cooper's life and the way the personal is always political, listen to her conversation with Chris Hayes on a new episode of "Why Is This Happening?

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For pregnant women, your race may determine your standard of care May 10, Brittney Cooper.

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