WHAT WOULD MALCOLM DO?: Why Breastfeeding Counts As African American Political Thought — A Webinar (Video)


Have you ever wondered what Malcolm X’s thoughts would be on Black breastfeeding? Do you think a figure like this would care? I think he would. What about Harriet Tubman’s or W.E.B. DuBois’ thoughts? Marcus Garvey? MLK, Jr? Any other Black ‘revolutionary’? The fact that Black women in America statistically have the lowest breastfeeding rates of any group in this country means that in addition to a history of enslavement, disregard for Black life, lynching, bombings and more that many of these figures and many others countered, our breastfeeding stats means that in America Black people remain compromised. The lack of breastfeeding means that Black babies are dying in numbers far above other groups, because it means that Black people are more prone to more illnesses in childhood and essentially adulthood. Breastfeeding provides a healthy psychological and physical foundation and works to impede a list of diseases that literally helps to save our life, as well as work to counter other forms of social turmoil.

I am hosting a webinar next month titled ‘WHAT WOULD MALCOLM DO?: Why Breastfeeding Counts As African American Political Thought’. It is not focused exclusively on Malcolm X and his doctrine, or any one political figure in particular, but it instead looks at the various forms of political thought and political action that have been at the forefront of the ‘Black struggle’ in the United States, in an effort to count Blackness as valid and how Black breastfeeding fits into this space. What is the part all Black men, women and our allies play in placing attention on this critical area in our ongoing quest for social justice and liberation? 

Here is the abstract:

Since 1619, Black people in America have enlisted various forms of political thought, action and conversations in order challenge inequality and exclusion. The spawn of the European quest for dominance meant that at that current time, as well as in the coming years, Black people were faced with a dynamic that forcefully required their participation concerning white populations. As the years passed, Black and African Americans began to participate in ways that were noticeable on a larger scale that radically challenged the racist (and gendered) politics in order to garner more attention for the well-being and safety of Black life. This has been exemplified by various social movements. Continuously we hear of historical figures like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, the Black Panthers, and we see others in our current time such as Cornel West, Melissa Harris-Perry, Angela Davis, and more, discuss how important this form of insight is to the Black race as a whole.

In this webinar we will look critically at this area. African American political thought in the context of infant feeding is an area where I have begun to place a large emphasis on my research interest. According to the latest report from the Center for Disease Control, Black women as a group, statistically have the lowest breastfeeding initiation and duration rates of any other in this country. The numbers continuously rank lowest of any other. Yet this practice which has innumerable social, physical, and psychological benefits for all Black people never seem to travel outside of conversations regarding the mother-infant dyad. And the conversations on African American political thought never seem to encompass breastfeeding. I will explain how I view that breastfeeding is an outgrowth of a radical past for Black people in the United States — a direct link to various forms of political action, and discuss how we can widen the scope by expanding the conversation on Black lactation advocacy.


About the speaker: Acquanda Stanford is a critical Black feminist anthropologist, ICTC Full Circle Doula and Certified Lactation Educator. She is also a PhD student of Sociocultural Anthropology, researching breastfeeding among people of African descent in the US.

Title: ‘WHAT WOULD MALCOLM DO?: Why Breastfeeding Counts As African American Political Thought’

Date: Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 PM, pst

Duration: 60 minutes; 45 minutes of presentation followed by 15 minutes Q&A and dialogue. This involves back and forth conversations between host and participants. This means that in addition to participants asking me questions, I will also draw on your thoughts and ask you questions, in order to create a critically engaging reciprocal learning environment and move the conversation and ways of participating along.

Price: $15.00 USD. Please pay here via paypal: 

Price: 9.99 for the on-demand recording. You are able to view this for 21 days: 

*If you have economic circumstances that prevent you from paying this fee then please let me know. Some discounts are available.* Likewise, if you are someone who would like to enact a ‘pay it forward’ gesture and help others attend, any additional money submitted with your payment (whether it is $1.00 or $5.00 or whatever amount) will be used to help fund another’s seat. Once you submit your payment, I will email you within 24 hours with a password that you will use to log in on the day of the webinar.

Accommodations: I am in the process of working to gather the proper materials in order to transcribe and/or interpret and to make this webinar more available to visually impaired, Deaf and hard of hearing participants.

Platform: Fuze

System Requirements: 

  • A computer monitor and speakers, or a compatible device such as an iphone, tablet or another supported device, since you will be able to see and hear me. Note: If you do not have access to a computer monitor and speakers, you can participate via calling in.
  • High speed internet connection

How to participate:

  • Within 24 hours of receiving your payment, I will update the registration list with your information, and you will receive an invitation and instructions for accessing the webinar.
  • On the day of the webinar, click on the link you receive in your email. In order to participate using video and audio, you are required to download the fuze application https://www.fuze.com/downloadIf you do not download this application, you will still be able to see the presentation, but you will only able to hear it via calling in.

Other points to remember:

  • At the bottom of the screen on the left side underneath the meeting chat, you will see a small arrow: use this to open the panel for chat and video.
  • I recommend navigating to the user panel of your computer and clicking on ‘view’ and selecting ‘enter full screen.’ I think this will provide the best experience.

Space is very limited. There are only 35 seats total, since this allows all of us to better engage each other without being overcrowded. I will update/remove the payment option if/when there are no more spaces, but do not wait to register. 

Please help me spread the word about this webinar by sharing this post with your social networks — and anyone else.

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