Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Allison McKim

Abstract/Artist's Statement


The marginalized and oppressed position of African American women has influenced their reproduction throughout history. From the force breeding of slavery, the lack of information about reproductive health during the Women’s Right Movement and accusations of genocide by their racial counterparts during the 1960’s, African American women have been torn and pushed into different directions. In interviewing young college-educated black women, I have found that discourses about the politics of race, gender and reproduction have influenced their beliefs and consequently their decisions. These discourses include frameworks of upward mobility, self-identification, racial solidarity, stereotypical images, religion and health. The one that has been most salient in my research is upward mobility and self-advancement. Their beliefs about reproduction, contraception and sex in general are shaped by their wants to better themselves as individuals and challenge the stereotypical representations of African American women that they encounter.

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