Book Salon: Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth

NOV 05, 2019 | 6:30 PM TO 8:00 PM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue


9100: Skylight Room


November 05, 2019: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM




Center for the Study of Women and Society


Dána-Ain Davis will have a conversation with Vanessa Agard-Jones and Lynn Roberts about her new book, Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth. 

Black women have higher rates of premature birth than other women in America. This cannot be simply explained by economic factors, with poorer women lacking resources or access to care. Even professional, middle-class black women are at a much higher risk of premature birth than low-income white women in the United States. Dána-Ain Davis looks into this phenomenon, placing racial differences in birth outcomes into a historical context, revealing that ideas about reproduction and race today have been influenced by the legacy of ideas which developed during the era of slavery. She argues that events leading up to an infant’s arrival in a NICU, and the parents’ experiences while they are in the NICU, reveal subtle but pernicious forms of racism that confound the perceived class dynamics that are frequently understood to be a central factor of premature birth.

Co-sponsored by the Dean's Office for MA Programs, Anthropology Department, the Feminist Press, WSQ (Women's Studies Quarterly), IRADAC, Critical Personality Social Psychology Department, Environmental Psychology Department, the Public Science Project, and PublicsLab at the Graduate Center, CUNY.