Doulas: 'We Need To Listen To Black Mothers'

Jun 16, 2020

After two weeks of protests following high-profile police killings of unarmed African Americans, conversations about equity continue in communities across the country. In Asheville, a group of birth doulas who started their practice to address racial disparities in the delivery room are hoping to elevate the voices of black moms.

BPR’s Cass Herrington sat down with three doulas from the organization Sistas Caring 4 Sistas. Together, they've helped counsel and guide a new generation of black mothers in Asheville, since 2016.

Credit Cass Herrington / BPR News

“It’s been a hard pill to swallow. I haven’t really been able to speak about this. Because I think about my husband. I think about his death. I think about that white woman, who pulled out in front of him, and he lost his life. She knew she took a life and she never even reached out to say, ‘I’m sorry.’”

- Cindy McMillan, birth doula and marketing director

Credit Cass Herrington / BPR News

“We could sit here all day. We could talk about the housing issue, the section 8 issue….And they’re trying to push us out of the city. Moms are stressing out trying to get their kids out of harm’s way.”

- Wakina Norris, doula and director of mentoring

Credit Cass Herrington / BPR News

“The time for talking is over. People actually need to do something that is going to provide an action. We’ve been talking for years, black people have been telling their stories for years. I want to know what the white people are going to do.”

Nikita Smart, doula, lactation educator and director of operations