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LovieThe Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship$
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Lisa Yarger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630052

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

A Beginning

A Beginning

(p.23) 2 A Beginning

Lisa Yarger

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents a selective account of Lovie’s childhood. Lovie’s interest in pregnancy and birth takes root on the Beard family farm where lay midwives, known as grannies, granny women or granny midwives, attended the deliveries of African American tenant farm women. These traditional midwives, who were community based and served women of color as well as poor white women, learned their vocation through an informal apprenticeship with an older woman, often a relative. When Lovie graduates from high school, her mother insists that she continue her education and pursue a career, advising her that she “can’t rely on menfolks.” Following the contours of Lovie’s life, the reader begins a journey through the last century of midwifery history in the South.

Keywords:   traditional midwives, lay midwives, grannies, granny women, granny midwives, tenant farm

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