The structure of the African American family has been a recurring theme in American discourse on the African American community. The role of African American mothers especially has been the cause of heated debates since the time of Reconstruction in the 19th century. The discourse, which often saw the African American family as something that needed fi xing, also put the issue of women's reproductive rights on the political agenda. Taking a long-term perspective from the 1920s to the early 1990s, Anne Overbeck aims to show how normative notions of the American family infl uenced the perspective on the African American family, especially African American women. The book follows the negotiations on African American women's reproductive rights within the context of eugenics, modernization theory, overpopulation, and the War on Drugs. Thereby it sets out to trace both continuities and changes in the discourse on the reproductive rights of African American women that still infl uence our perspective on the African American family today.
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