About the Book

“Midwives have been in the world probably as long as there have been human babies on earth. With this book, though, I want to take you back only as far as the Africa of a few hundred years ago. That’s when millions of Africans were forced from their homelands, brought to America and enslaved. Some of the enslaved were midwives.”

Through narrative and photographs, Eloise Greenfield highlights important aspects from a few hundred years of the lives of African American midwives and the people they selflessly served. Then, Eloise makes a powerful transition to expressive poetry and the pairing of this poetry with the evocative, awe inspiring art of Daniel Minter brings the midwife story to life – deeply, to life. The poem, “Africa to America”, begins the poetic journey. The poem, “The Women”, both heralds the poetry/art pairing and concludes it with a note of gratitude to these women. The poem that ends the book is “Miss Rovenia Mayo” who was the midwife who caught newborn Eloise.