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18 Feb 2019

Call The Doulas, Call The Brujas: A Poem For Black History Month

By Gina Giordano

This month at DTI, we’re recognizing the Black birth workers who have become before us and imagining a future that honors, respects and upholds evidence-based care for everyone. In that spirit, we’d like to share a poem by DTI educator and doula Simone Toomer. In this poem, Toomer outlines the racist constructs and disparities that characterize the birth world today—and she calls us to action. It’s time to build this nation up!

 

“Black History Month,” a poem by DTI educator and doula Simone Toomer

Black History Month.
And thank you kindly for the
28 of 365
to celebrate
us.

A nation built
On our backs
And in our wombs,
Herstory.

The wisdom of granny
Shunned and outlawed.
The wisdoms of birth
Lost amongst
us.

Black bodies
Prodded
Poked
For the doctor’s sake

Our milk leaked
Our babies starved
Our bodies broken
In a system not for
Us.

But we still comply
Another mother dies
2019
We are stats of 4 times more high.

Milk in cans
SIDS on the rise.
Now I lay you down
To sleep, to sleep,
Forever to sleep.

I cry
I scream
But nobody believes
Bodies valued over my truth

Choices taken
Autonomy threatened
Power plays
Systemic racism

Quick to cut open
Healing
On the mend
Our bodies. Our minds. Our hearts.

Serena. Beyonce
Emergency C’s
Nicked
Bleed
At time with no medical need.

My degree
Another sheet
A paper on the wall
They look and see
Another black body

The numbers rise
We want different
But do the same
But time to reclaim
Us.

Call the midwife.
Call the doula.
Call the healers.
Call the brujas.

Build this nation up
Black History Month.

 

About the poet, Simone Toomer:

Simone is a mom, a doula, a lactation counselor and a family advocate. Simone wants to be a part of supporting families at a time so sacred, holding the hand that holds the baby. She wants to nurture the whole family, supporting the unit in ways they never thought they may need but grow to appreciate.

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