Celebrating Black History Month: Uplifting Black Women Through Traditional Birthing Practices with Shafia Monroe

To celebrate Black History Month, we were thrilled to partner with UCSF's National Center of Excellence in Women's Health and Expecting Justice to co-sponsor a lecture on traditional birthing practices by Shafia Monroe. Shafia Monroe is a veteran midwife, a cultural competency trainer, an herbalist, an author, and a motivational speaker. She is a channeler of the Black Granny Midwife and the keeper of cultural healing traditions. She has spent over 40 years teaching the legacy of the 20th Century African American midwife and building organizations and businesses with their history as the foundation for better birth outcomes and community health. 

Shafia Monroe explained, "What the Black midwives brought to birth was a celebration. Back then it was a blessing to have a baby and never a burden. It is engrained in our country right now that having Black babies is not an honor. As Black people, we have bought into that.  But that is not our culture. That is why knowing our culture and history will bring us freedom. It will allow us to see that having Black babies is a revolutionary act." She went on to cover various aspects of traditional Black birth practices such as the importance of human touch, rituals to reduce stress and the use of an African cotton lappa cloth. 

We need to use our ancient birthing traditions to bring our communities back, to save our children, to save ourselves 

Shafia Monroe, Granny Midwife

Shafia Monroe Consulting

After Monroe's talk, the audience was engaged in a lively question and answer session. Audience members expressed their deep gratitude to Shafia Monroe for her work and her wisdom and sent her away with joyous applause. 

audience member

shafia monroe

audience laughing

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