‘Bronislaw’: The Anthropology of Black Breastfeeding in Mississippi

Posted on Posted in MISSISSIPPI
Selfie of Black feminist anthropologist (me) researching breastfeeding rates in Greenville, MS, August, 2015
Selfie of Black feminist anthropologist (me) researching breastfeeding rates in Greenville, MS, August, 2015

A few months back, the editors of the new online magazine, Bronislaw (as in Malinowski, I think) asked me to write an article for their first edition. I thought it was a good opportunity and was happy to do so, and the edition was finally published the other day.

I thought it gave me the right opportunity to talk just a bit about what the anthropology of Black breastfeeding in Mississippi is, and my focus on breastfeeding — aside from this blog that I’ve been writing for five years, and all.

If my article sounds vague, then that’s because it is. Even though I have had a zillion and one people ask me about what went down there, I refrain because I have not spoken to the residents of the state about what I found during that short research trip. I refuse to put that information on a public platform. Even though I am confident the residents of Mississippi can handle their own, I have information that may be potentially sensitive. Besides that, going there just to get info and then disseminate it to academics and anywhere else is just not happening. I just don’t do anthropology like that. I have spoken some about it to activists — to folks who I know who would actually work to change society and change the Black breastfeeding narrative, and I will speak to folks who work specifically towards breastfeeding justice — so if I go to the ROSE Conference this year, this is what I will be talking to people about — but that’s it. There is no such thing as placing people on ‘display’  up in here. That’s not how I roll.

Anyway, here’s the link. Tell me what you think. The article is called An unlikely anthropologist doing unlikely work in an unlikely place: critical black breastfeeding in the Mississippi Delta

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