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Not GOOD enough to share your water fountains but good enough to BREAST feed your BABIES

Before the mammy stereotype was born during the post-civil war revisionist period, every plantation had a mammy. As described by historian Kimberly Wallace Sanders, “more often [mammy] served as a generic name for slave women who served as a wet nurse or baby nurse for white children.” This was in large part to the trend of medical experts of the day discouraging mothers from breastfeeding. Outsourcing breastfeeding was not a new phenomenon during the pre-antebellum, as it had been occurring since the biblical times. Still, it is no less shocking that black women were good enough to give bodily fluids to white babies, but not good enough to be treated as human beings.

While black women were forced to give life to babies they did not birth, their own children sometimes went hungry. Per Sanders, “A lot of slave babies died during slavery because they weren’t breastfed. They were fed concoctions of dirty water and cows milk.” As any doctor will tell you, breastfeeding often creates a bond between the mother and child, and slave wet nurses were not immune to feeling affection for their white parasites, and vice versa. Said one European visitor to a plantation in the Carolinas: “Richard always grieves when Quasheen is whipped, because she suckled him.” Wet nursing did not end after slavery, and many southern white women continued to employ black wet nurses until the practice fell out of fashion in the twentieth century. Like their slave ancestors, “free” wet nurses were often kept from their children in addition to being forced to do other household chores, but with a severely unfair wage instead of no pay at all.

In the present, only 59% of black women breastfeed, compared to 79% of white women. Certified nurse and midwife Stephanie Devane-Johnson interviewed black women and found that some reject breast feeding because of the exploited wet nurses of slavery. I am left to wonder if the infrequency of breastfeeding among black women has to do with the high infant mortality rate in our community.

Post-Civil War Wet Nurse

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Comment by Yahzequel Ben Israel on Sunday


Comment by Andre Blackman on December 7, 2018 at 4:11pm

@Antoine. Stop throwing B!+@# shots.

Comment by mr1stroke on December 4, 2018 at 5:21pm

those lil idiots are too busy taking selfoes and putting money in the white man's pocket by buying every new iphones, they can barely spell amgine them know their past, the sad part there are no mothers and fathers to teach them these things, mothers are online trying to find a boy friend and the fathers are gone getting other women pregnant, if those little negros knew their history they would know their worth each time they kill each other, today 2 young ment got shot on Bedstuy a 21 years old is dead and the other in Kings county hospital

Comment by Sun Johnson on December 4, 2018 at 12:34pm

I concur!

Comment by vaughn mitchell on December 3, 2018 at 11:02pm
Marcella, well done.
Comment by Antoine on December 3, 2018 at 8:23pm
I don't usually comment on this site because of so much hate, but Ms Marcella Edmond that was well said. Thank you.
Comment by Chelleboo on December 3, 2018 at 2:46pm
WELL SAID MARCELLA!!!! I suppose if the white race was faced with all the opposition trials and germicidal challenges our black race did they would still be in animal skins living in caves.....but we out of that came heroes doctors inventors educators yes superior race eh hmmmm
Comment by marcella edmond on December 3, 2018 at 12:21pm

These are the things that the youth of today have no idea about.  our black women have always been envied by the masses because of our strength.  White women didnt clean their houses, cook for their families, take care of their chhildren, or screw their husbands.  OUR BLACK WOMEN DID, although by force. And in turn, they took away our children and killed our men.  It amazes me how they hate us so much and wish us all dead, but aspire to be us!  They want our hair, our thick thighs and big asses, our skin color and our men, but dont want the fight and the struggle that comes with being a black woman.

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