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Killing the Black Body [Book Review]

Summary

Reading the synopsis for Killing the Black Body by Dorothy E. Roberts, it seemed like the perfect book to discuss intersectionality as it touches on both race and reproductive rights. Racial, gender, and socioeconomic issues are often discussed separately but not nearly enough in combination as they occur in the real world. Here there’s a discussion of how those factors result in a difference in the approach to reproductive rights with regards to Black versus White women, especially across different income levels.

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Show Notes

To put things simply, it seems there is often an effort to increase White women’s reproduction. Laws and policies focus on increasing the White / higher-income population while doing the opposite for the Black / perceived lower-income population.

We don’t leave it up to the government and politicians to make decisions about other areas of life. Why should it be that an individual based on their personal beliefs, has the right to dictate what a woman regardless of her race can or can’t do with her body? People push for individual rights with regard to choosing their path in life. They decide who and what they want to be, their values, and how they want to live. But then when it comes to reproductive rights, suddenly they have the right and authority to make decisions for other people under the guise of attempting to protect fetuses?

While the child is in utero, there’s this great fervent about protecting the life of that child. The child is born and is found to be in need of resources such as access to healthy food, childcare, education, etc. Suddenly, we can’t enable people as they have to be independent and pull themselves up by the bootstraps. They care about the child while it is in the mother but once that child is born, it’s like every man for himself.

With regards to white women, you have this pushback against abortion to either completely outlaw abortion or make them difficult to obtain. Historically and even in the present with regards to Black women, there isn’t necessarily a push towards abortion but rather the prevention of pregnancies. I’m no conspiracy theorist but both sides of the equation are aimed at population control or more accurately, manipulation.

To be clear, I am pro-choice but don’t believe that abortion should be used as a method of birth control. Instead, it should be the norm to provide accurate and unbiased age-appropriate science-based education about reproduction to people, men and women. Beginning in adolescence, if not earlier. And you then leave it up to the individual to make choices for themselves.

In this day and age, no one needs six or seven children. Especially not if you’re in financial straits and don’t have the means to comfortably raise them. But even if you do have the financial means, I don’t think most people would have the time to spend properly raising those children as individuals. You can be a millionaire but what’s the point of having all those kids if you hand off raising them to someone else? If one is the breadwinner and constantly gone while the other stays at home, it stands to reason that one of you is not having as much of a presence and influence on the children which is also an issue. I think some of these factors are why you have children who grow up wealthy but their childhoods are unhappy which leads to them being a mess as adults.

Through the generations, the attitudes towards Black people and Black sexuality within America have changed over time. The accompanying stereotypes have changed as well depending on whether or not the American social and power structure benefits from an increased or decreased Black population. During slavery, large amounts of Black people being born was a resource to slaveholders and thus they encouraged reproduction.

There developed a stereotype of Black people being portrayed as sexually promiscuous, untrustworthy, and lacking self-control. This was promoted at least in part as an excuse to absolve white men of responsibility for their coercion and rape of Black women. On the flip side, there was also the mammy stereotype which explained putting Black women in the position of raising White children. These two stereotypes coexisted with one expressing the unfitness of Black women as mothers and really just human beings while also being capable of raising White children.

In the past, rape was regarded as a crime of passion but Roberts points out that through research and in more recent times, rape is now more accurately viewed as being about power. An individual feeling as though they have a right to exert their will on another human being without their consent. In the case of slavery, the rape of Black women was just another facet of this system of terrorism aimed at fully dominating and controlling the body of Black women.

Similar stereotypes existed with regards to Black men where during slavery they were regarded as having brute strength needing to be corralled and managed by slave masters as they were mentally child-like and docile. After slavery, there was a new stereotype of Black men being unruly, impulsive, and criminal-minded thus needing to be under the supervision of White people.

As the book goes on we see these contradictory stereotypes continue to play out throughout the ages. The existing stereotypes of Black people would be modified or completely thrown out based on the needs of society. By the mid-1900s there were now stereotypes of Black women being unfit mothers and later “welfare queens”. In the eyes of racists, these rapidly reproducing women needed the firm hand of the government to keep them in line and prevent them from taking more than their fair share of resources from society.

Much of this boils down to a refusal to acknowledge and address issues within society. Instead of acknowledging and addressing those problems as societal issues needing to be rectified by society, they’re instead viewed as personal failings. Politicians and policymakers focus on trying to control the bodies of Black women. They’re referred to as though they are the problem rather than people living with problems in their lives whether that be poverty, drug use, or any other issues.

An interesting part of Killing the Black Body is the discussion of eugenics. Various examples are provided where through various laws, initiatives, and programs efforts were made to eradicate what general society deemed as unsavory groups of people. That applied to members of particular races but also poor people and those with particular illnesses that were regarded as a result of faulty genes.

When you take a step back and look at racism and classism, all of this stuff goes back to resources. Various social issues boil down to one group setting itself up as being superior to all other groups and thus most deserving of access to resources. Public education, health care, food, shelter, etc. providing any of those things to poor people was seen as enabling them.

I’m certainly not a saint but I don’t understand how you can rationalize the idea that natural selection should be allowed to run its course and these people should be allowed to die off. How cold-hearted is that? It’s no longer politically correct to say stuff like that but when you look at various social issues, across different marginalized groups, that’s pretty much what it boils down to.

It’s a concept of self-help where instead of us helping those who are less fortunate there are all of these talking points to explain that we should just leave them to rot. People push back against the poor having access to food stamps, children receiving W.I.C., or receiving assistance with housing. There’s an attitude of survival of the fittest but that’s only when it comes to the poor. Few of these people discuss the reality of how some members of these more privileged groups originally obtained their resources. It’s typically through some act of criminality, unethical behavior, or someone else was kind enough to provide them with help to get started.

Excluding Native Americans and the descendants of enslaved Black people, America is a country of people who typically chose to move to America for a chance at a better life. Yet, there’s pushback against immigrants who aren’t from specific countries coming to America to make better lives for themselves. And historically, there was a push to take land from Native Americans and to seize the assets of Black people who had pulled themselves up too high by their bootstraps.

By the 1960s, you had what was called the “Mississippi Appendectomy” where Black women, especially those who were poor or otherwise deemed unfit to be mothers, would be involuntarily sterilized. It wasn’t until reading this book that I became aware that this practice was also carried out with non-Black poor women and individuals deemed “feeble-minded”.

Men serving prison time for crimes such as rape or assault could be castrated. These are terrible crimes but people have been and still are convicted of crimes of which they are later found innocent. During the late 1800s to the early 1900s, Black people, especially men, were being lynched. The reasons cited were often related to them having committed some kind of crime or exhibited inappropriate behavior towards a White woman. These excuses were often just a means for covering up other reasons for wanting to put this person in prison or otherwise commit some act of torture upon them. It really makes you question these castrations. And even in instances when the accused is found guilty, would this not count as cruel and unusual punishment?

In the present, people are still rather conservative and hold sexist beliefs about women and female sexuality. These views were even more prevalent and strict in the past. A woman might be deemed feeble-minded when really she was just promiscuous or even just sexually expressive. Examples are provided of White women displaying an attraction to Black men which would result in the woman being deemed feeble-minded. It becomes a slippery slope because with all of these different reasons and rationales that could be used to sterilize a person deemed unfit anybody could be at risk.

Moving into the 1960s, there is then discussion of the development of birth control and then later specifically Norplant. Norplant is a long-acting form of birth control that is implanted thereby ensuring a woman wouldn’t have to remember to take a pill. It’s discreet and wouldn’t require the participation or even the knowledge of the woman’s sexual partner. It was so effective at preventing pregnancies that it could be thought of as temporary sterilization. The only thing more effective was sterilization.

It started out as being marketed towards middle-income and wealthy women. But once its effectiveness became more apparent, politicians and other advocates began imagining it as a device to prevent pregnancies, specifically among the poor and/or those who were welfare recipients.

Birth control regardless of the form isn’t a problem in and of itself with regards to the poor or welfare recipients. It’s perfectly fine to educate people and make them aware of their options. But the government attempting to coerce people into a particular action for purposes that don’t affect the health of anyone but that individual is wrong.

Sexual education is lacking. Before you even get to the point of people having kids, a lot of adults do not understand how their bodies function or how to keep themselves healthy. As early as possible and in age-appropriate language, we should start educating girls AND boys about their bodies and reproductive health. (Ex: the proper terms for body parts and guidelines about appropriate versus inappropriate touching.) And as they approach the age at which they might begin puberty and/or become sexually active, educate them about how to be responsibly sexually active. That should include the various options for preventing pregnancies and the transmission of STDs.

But as Roberts explains, there was a push to have poor women, particularly women on welfare be coerced into receiving Norplant. It can certainly be made available as an option and it can be promoted so people know it’s out there. You can even explain to people the benefits of planning and taking greater control of when and how often they become pregnant. But ultimately what course of action they take should be their decision with no fear of retaliation.

Within the push for Norplant, a lot of these people that were advocating for forcing this birth control onto poor women and/or welfare recipients were also the type of people that are staunchly against sexual education. Or rather, they believe in teaching abstinence-only sexual education. I would think it makes more sense to educate them as to how to engage in sex and sexuality in a healthy and responsible manner.

Some of this carries over to the debate about teenage pregnancy where it’s assumed that making teens aware of and providing access to contraceptives will encourage them to have sex which will result in more teenage pregnancies. But the reality is that with or without sex education, some teenagers will become sexually active. Why not educate them about how to be safe and responsible?

Consider that an adult engaging in sexual activity with a minor has been a crime for quite some time. Yet, there are still issues of adult men and women having inappropriate contact with underaged boys and/or girls. Given recent events, there is still a need to educate people about it being illegal and a potentially punishable offense to have sexual contact with someone who is unable to give consent. Not to mention that so much of the burden of reproductive health and preventing pregnancy still rests on the shoulders of females.

Teenage pregnancy has fortunately been trending down. It’s still an issue but not as much as it had been in the past. And I do regard this as an issue because if you’re still being cared for by your parents, it’s irresponsible to bring a child into that situation. But, as Roberts explains a lot of these and likely the majority of teen pregnancies, especially young teens, are a result of sexual coercion by adult men. So there’s also a conversation to be had about inappropriate sexual interest and contact on the part of adult men towards girls and teens.

There’s room for a lot of girls and women to learn and there certainly is for males as well. This isn’t just with regards to family planning but how to be a responsible sexually active man. Something that’s not touched on here, because the book is more focused on women is that when we discuss sex and sexuality for men, it’s about the act of sex. But there’s less conversation about how men can prevent pregnancy as women are generally tasked with making decisions about birth control.

Sterilization as described here is in the sense of a woman having her tubes tied. But men and women are involved in sex and both of them would then be responsible for any resulting children. Why is it that there’s so much focus on women, use of birth control, and getting your tubes tied but little to no conversation about men getting vasectomies?

Vasectomies are a very effective method of birth control that is reversible in most cases. It’s a simple procedure that can be done in a doctor’s office. Why aren’t more men encouraged to get a vasectomy as a way of taking control of their reproductive health? There are so many methods of contraception and pregnancy prevention geared towards women. Whereas for men the most reliable methods are condoms and vasectomies. Why is there no male birth control pill?

The conversations that we have about women’s versus men’s reproductive health are completely out of balance. There’s so much conversation about what women should or should not be allowed to do with their bodies. But then everyone’s quiet about what men should do with theirs.

Almost all medications carry some risk of side effects. So in addition to educating people about their options for birth control, it’s also important to educate them about the potential side effects. This should enable them to weigh the pros and cons to figure out if the medication is a fit for their individual situation.

The solution for women who lack access to resources but are still continuing to have children that they struggle to provide for shouldn’t be to dictate what they do with their bodies. In those situations, I would guess that a lack of reliable access to healthcare and family planning resources is at least a contributing factor. It might then be more effective to better understand the situation, the individual’s mindset, and educate them about how they can improve their circumstances to better ensure the livelihood of themselves and their children. They’d also need resources to achieve some degree of stability.

In the 80s during what was termed the crack epidemic, there was a push to safeguard the children purposefully erroneously termed “crack babies” from their drug-addicted mothers. But as with many of these initiatives, people have ulterior motives. Mothers were sentenced to prison or otherwise separated from their children for using crack cocaine while pregnant. They were deemed unfit in a way that mothers who use other drugs or substances were not. Crack and cocaine are essentially the same drug but there’s no talk of “cocaine babies” or pushes to take children from mothers who are using cocaine, meth, pills, heroin or whatever their drug of choice unless they’re neglecting their children or putting them in danger.

Maybe it’s a matter of time passing and society having learned from the past mistakes of the “crack epidemic” which has led to a different approach to the opioid epidemic. But I can’t help but feel as though some of this leniency and understanding has more to do with the race of the individuals seen as being the face of the substance.

Alcohol is also an addictive substance though the details may differ in comparison to drug use. It brings its fair share of devastation to the lives of people that abuse it. Alcohol ingestion can have consequences and cause birth defects but I’ve never heard of anyone being thrown in jail for drinking while pregnant. People might look at them crazy and pass judgment. But somehow it seems that it’s not regarded as being a criminally punishable offense unless the individual is operating a vehicle or gets into some kind of accident.

While there were many points on which I agreed with Roberts, one point where I disagreed was with regards to welfare. I completely agreed that welfare shouldn’t be used as a carrot or a stick where in order to receive welfare people should be pressured into obtaining abortions or birth control. Yet, while I thought people who are poor or going through a hard time in life should receive assistance I didn’t view welfare as being a right.

A person shouldn’t be dependent on welfare for their survival. If you’re struggling with one or two children, adding more kids to that situation might be your right but you also have to accept taking care of those kids as your responsibility. You’re an individual and have rights and control over yourself. But you can’t push to make decisions for yourself and then turn around and expect to abdicate responsibility for the consequences of those decisions.

It’s perfectly fine to agree to provide assistance up to a point but then be objective with where you choose to draw the line. But part of the issue as well is can a person with low income reasonably obtain reliable access to healthcare? How easy and affordable is it to get resources related to family planning? Can they get regular checkups for themselves or their children?

The reality is that most people in American society through tax cuts, incentives, rebates, etc. also receive some form of assistance from the government. When you look at things from that perspective, attempting to cut welfare for poor people who arguably need it the most is incredibly unfair. That’s penalizing them for being poor. Different groups, whether that’s the working lower to middle-class, wealthy people, companies and corporations receive tax incentives from the government. It’s all assistance or subsidies. Having it explained that way changed my perspective and with that, I had to check myself.

Depending on your income, assets, and liabilities you might get some kind of credit or incentive from the government. But because of the types of people we assume receive what we deem as welfare, we people pick and choose when it’s acceptable. The average person checks some boxes on their tax return and gets money. Whereas the poor who are in need of welfare, have to jump through all types of hoops. We as the public put pressure and expectations on them with regards to how they should live their lives if they hope to continue receiving this government benefit.

Much of Killing the Black Body is directly about reproductive rights but a decent portion (I would estimate 50%) is dedicated to discussing welfare. Roberts spends a good amount of time laying the groundwork for her points. I initially found myself disagreeing with her because what she was saying didn’t sound right. Until she moved past the basic explanation of things and really got into that the manner in which a lot of people, myself included, view welfare is flawed. It took a while to get there but when she did her ideas made a lot of sense and I came to agree with much of what she was explaining.

I’ve never thought or believed that people on welfare were purposefully having a bunch of kids for money because it’s really not that much money. Something new that I learned was that people can and do work while receiving welfare. Actually, the vast majority of welfare recipients are working but the income that they earn is not enough to support themselves and their families. It’s a way of providing a baseline or at least some kind of a foundation under the poor which I do support.

Killing the Black Body also helps to break down the fact that in a lot of cases some of these initiatives are aimed at dissuading people from having children outside of marriage. I don’t think it’s a bad idea for people to be married before having kids. But as Roberts breaks down, the way that these programs actually work is that they attempt to force women to be dependent on the salary of a man.

Early in the Women’s Rights Movement, women were pushing for the creation of these programs but many of them were operating from the perspective of being middle-income White women. They traditionally didn’t work outside the home and were largely dependent on the salary of a husband. That’s never really been the reality for a lot of Black women as traditionally most Black women have had to work outside their home and also earned lower wages than White men and later White women.

Black women typically do not earn enough on just their salary to put them on an equal footing with a wage-earning man who might be able to take care of himself and his family on just his salary. This is also true for a lot of Black men as well and one area where the wage gap comes into place. These programs were created to supplement the income of White women who upon divorce or the passing of a husband might experience a financial setback and need assistance. There’s been a bigger push for men to take financial responsibility for their children through child support. But unless the father of the child is well off, a father who is poor might not necessarily be able to provide enough to lift a child out of poverty.

I don’t have an issue with men being made to pay child support nor do I have an issue with women working while receiving welfare as every little bit helps. But I feel like part of the issue is that with regards to these different programs, the government picks and chooses how and under what conditions it wants to assist. There is no hard or strict rule but rather, things are adapted based on political goals. It’s less about making people responsible for their actions and more about putting them in a position where they can be manipulated into the government’s preferred course of action.

It might seem logical to say that welfare should have limitations. But as Roberts points out, Americans don’t have these issues with other forms of public assistance. The reason that welfare is specifically targeted for having these various terms and conditions is that over time a stereotype has developed that inaccurately portrays the primary recipients of welfare as Black people. It’s a class and racial issue for politicians and the wealthy. But for middle and lower-income people, it’s less about not wanting to provide support for the poor but rather not wanting to provide support for poor Black people.

Having Roberts break it down in that way, helped me to realize some of my own biases that had formed along these lines based on flawed information. This is why you have to seek out sources of information that don’t just echo your opinions. There might be information out there contrary to what we believe which may allow us to realize that what we think we have come to believe based on logic is based on inaccurate and biased information. I accepted that she was right and I was wrong.

I didn’t believe that poor Black people were trying to get rich off of the system or that poor people shouldn’t be able to get assistance from the government. Yet, I did believe that people who are financially struggling and/or receiving support from the government should refrain from having children. But what about if you’re poor through no fault of your own? What if society has purposefully entered a phase where simply having a job and working hard are not enough to provide the stability needed to comfortably support a family?

You have some poor White people in America that buy into this conservative idea of limiting people sponging off of the government or at least that’s how it’s portrayed. But as Roberts points out, they place greater emphasis on their self-perceived superiority to Black people over their own need for assistance. Thus some poor White people vote against their interests. They’re willing to cause harm to themselves by supporting the limitation or eradication of these programs if it would also cause harm to Black people. It’s like they’ll take being poor but viewing themselves as superior to Black people over having programs put in place that would benefit them and possibly Black people.

There’s pressure on poor Black women to not have children or to have fewer children. But then there is public lamentation about career women, predominantly viewed as White middle-class women, choosing to delay having children in favor of their careers. Certain people are encouraged to not have children or to have fewer children, and then those who are deemed worthy as having either the social situation or genetic traits that are desired to be perpetuated and carried on are encouraged to have more children and/or have children earlier in their life.

Some companies and health insurance programs cover the costs of care related to infertility. It’s not touched on here in the book but some companies now offer egg freezing for career women who might not want to put off having kids for a few years. It allows women to wait until a time that’s more convenient for them when maybe they feel more stable and settled in life. But you have to look at the types of people that have jobs that offer these types of benefits.

In vitro and surrogacy are both incredibly expensive to the point where many poor or working-class people would be unable to afford these treatments. To my understanding, adoption can also be quite pricey. Thus they’re really only available as options to individuals that are fairly financially well off. According to the logic of natural selection, it would stand to reason that if you can’t afford children, then you shouldn’t, then if you can’t naturally have children, then you shouldn’t either. But because these individuals are wealthy, it’s deemed as being important for them to still have the option to have biological children.

Adoption is certainly an option for anyone but Roberts points out that a lot of these wealthier White families tend to only consider adoption as a last resort. It’s typically not considered until they’ve tried and are unsuccessful with in vitro. Whereas Black infertile couples may or may not have the same degree of resources but for them, adoption comes into play as an option earlier in the process.

Historically and culturally, the possibility of being able to carry and give birth to children has been thought of as a huge part of women’s contribution to mankind. It’s a major factor that separates men from women. In the past, any children that a woman gave birth to were her children but until relatively recently there was no reliable way to ensure that the child born to a man’s wife, girlfriend, etc. was his biological child. But now, with surrogacy agreements, a woman giving birth to a child doesn’t necessarily deem her as being the child’s parent.

Consider that people aren’t allowed to sell organs. If someone needs a kidney, heart, etc. they have to be added to a donor list which isn’t supposed to take their notoriety or financial standing into consideration. (This excludes obtaining organs from the underworld.) Yet with surrogacy, you can pay a woman’s medical bills, expenses, etc. during the pregnancy and get the baby in exchange. So it’s illegal to sell organs and body parts but theoretically, you can pay someone to have a whole other human being.

Some factions of society consider this to be problematic because it arguably commoditizes the female body. It divorces a woman from her natural right to parentage and instead uses her body as a vessel for creating children. Throughout history women have been reduced to being viewed as objects for sex, giving birth, and raising children. But not necessarily as independent beings.

This can be compared to sperm banks where men give their biological material, sign away rights to any children created, and get paid in exchange. It’s less involved so I don’t think sperm donors get paid as much as surrogates. And because it occurs with both genders, it might be less of a sexism issue and more of an ethical problem.

They’re essentially trading flesh but there’s an additional conversation to be had about eugenics. Sperm donors have profiles that might include their profession, height, physical description, etc. offering the option to select for particular genes and traits. It’s like genetically engineering super babies.

There are some implications that Roberts points out with regards to race. When it comes down to eggs, which would play a role in the genetics of a child there’s often a lack of available eggs for Black women. As the people who pursue this course of treatment are typically White. They generally don’t want Black eggs because they don’t want Black children but rather White children. On the flip side, when it comes to surrogacy where the woman is just carrying the child, but her biological matter is not in play, couples and particularly White couples are more willing to have people of color carry the child.

Roberts points out that when you consider it, infertility programs such as in vitro and artificial insemination don’t treat the underlying issue of infertility. Instead, as with many medical issues, there’s a greater focus on management. There’s often more money to be made in the management of health issues than a cure and eradication. Less focus on the person becoming fertile and more so the person utilizing these resources to work around their infertility. But Black or poor women who might not have access to these fertility programs or are unable to afford children are told to not have them.

Some of these situations being referred to as infertility are not a matter of having been born infertile but that by waiting until later in life, it becomes harder to conceive. People might have demanding jobs early on in their careers that don’t allow them the stability or flexibility to have children early on when they’re most fertile. The issue is less about their biological fertility and more about workplaces not being flexible or conducive to motherhood. Or more accurately, parenthood because men have to deal with variations of this as well.

There’s a lot of this conversation around millennials having economic hardships which leads to delaying getting married, buying homes, or having children. This isn’t because they don’t want these things but because of circumstances such as student loan debt, employment insecurity, the price of housing being out of reach, etc. They delay these life events that previous generations had been able to achieve at a younger age. It’s not a fertility problem but a matter of economic pressures and realities.

The window during which people feel comfortable having children has shifted to being later in life. To make a decent salary nowadays and achieve some degree of financial stability people typically need some kind of a college education. But with that comes the expense of student loans and the time to attend and complete college. And now in your early 20s, having graduated, you then have to work to pay back those student loans to recoup your investment. These are important years for establishing a career and might make it difficult to balance raising children. Which then pushes your timeline for having children back even further and out of your most fertile years.

Biology hasn’t changed. People haven’t suddenly become less fertile. It’s a matter of environmental and socioeconomic factors coming into play and affecting the window during which people have children but not necessarily their fertility itself. There’s more conversation about infertility that is not natural infertility rather than focus on the social and economic factors that are making it difficult for people to have children during their fertility prime.

There’s less conversation about how to fix these issues and problems. Better work-life balance, more job availability, more support for working mothers, more support for working fathers. More workplace flexibility allows people to be actively involved in raising their children. Instead, there’s a greater focus on trying to extend the window of fertility with the current solution being to freeze your eggs and try to have children when you’re older.

Often infertility within poor populations is a result of underlying medical conditions. Living in environments that are polluted or have other factors that negatively contribute to and affect health. Some of which might just be these individuals lacking access to healthcare. Again the person might not have been born infertile but rather external factors have impacted their reproductive health.

Think back to Black people during the time of slavery, Jim Crow, or pretty much any other point in American history. Black people faced inequality in the form of openly hostile, terroristic behavior. And we still face similar circumstances in the present. Has there ever been a point in time since Black people first arrived in America during which it would have been the best situation for Black people to have children? By making poverty and/or welfare determine whether or not Black people have children, it devolves into should Black people even have children at all?

Roberts makes a really good point by expressing the focus shouldn’t be on the individual financial aspects but rather on solving the social and economic issues that put poor or otherwise disadvantaged women in the position of struggling to have and raise children. Eradicate these social and economic issues rather than using the economic disadvantages of the poor as reasons to say that they should not have children or they should limit the number of children that they have.

Overall, Killing the Black Body made me reconsider some things and I’m glad for it. This is why I read books on topics that interest me but where I might not fully agree with the author. The only negative is that there were some points in the book where what Roberts had to say was important but it needed to be expressed in fewer words. Particularly with regards to the welfare portion of the book, Roberts was trying to reiterate her opinion by providing multiple examples but it got to a point of feeling repetitive. Some editing to tighten up that area of the book would have made it flawless.

One or two examples would have been enough but instead, it became like information overload. Aside from that, it’s an incredible and highly informative book that makes you think. And if you approach Killing the Black Body with an open mind, you might find yourself reconsidering some of your views and opinions.

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