I am a PhD Candidate of sociocultural anthropology. At one point not so long ago I had hopes of becoming an IBCLC — a Lactation Consultant, certified through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, but I stopped pursuing that goal obtaining that CLE. My work focuses on breastfeeding among Black and African Americans in the U.S., with a focus on the state of Mississippi and a concentration in the Delta. The Spirit called me to do this work, I believe, for the interminable struggles Black women have faced as recompense I vowed to repay. I grew up around breastfeeding. My grandmother, mother, sisters and my friends were my influences. So it struck me when I learned that Black women are breastfeeding our babies much less than we have in our previous moments in history.
My work looks at the disjuncture in breastfeeding – why are Black women breastfeeding much less than we once did? What all of this means is that rather than focusing on clinical applications and mechanics (how to latch a baby to a breast, information about breast pumps, milk storage, etc), I focus more on critical aspects. Breastfeeding is a biological site that serves as a gateway to explore the greater complexities around this tradition.