The African American Community and the Birth Control Movement

921 Words Jan 31st, 2018 4 Pages
In fact, scientific studies and beliefs have, for a large part of the 20th century, been infused with an underlying racism that has tainted them. For instance, in the years from the 1880's to the mid 1940's, the African American fertility rate, or the rate at which African Americans were producing babies, sharply declined. This was the subject of a number of scientific inquiries at the time which Jessie M. Rodrique has severely criticized as being based on racial stereotypes and racist beliefs. In the article titled "The African American Community and the Birth-Control Movement," Rodrique argued that the decline in the fertility rate of African Americans at that time was not the result of ignorance and poverty in the African American community but instead was the result of an understanding and conscious acceptance of birth control as a means of personal and racial liberation.
Rodrique discussed a number of points which scientists of the time used to rationalize their conclusions about the significant reduction in fertility rates, and then, one by one, refuted these conclusion with concrete evidence. For example, many scientists at the time "accounted for the remarkable decline in black fertility in terms of biological factors"¦," (Rodrique 293) focusing on the general…