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landon campbell winning move the route known for the cinema and you know when the village of it like that part of that is so large that it's worth whatever it is ms winfrey is one of the oldest known professions in the world dating back to biblical times and well before it's a practice that has touched many of our lives and certainly the lives of our ancestors and the lowest test that my own grandmother was a midwife i never knew him but i've heard
lots of stories about the babies she delivered in north dallas and wilcox counties in the nineteen thirties and forties and i like my sisters and brothers before being was delivered by a midwife see during the early part of this century and up until the nineteen sixties on been limited by a midwife was very common or wrong in black areas of alabama in nineteen twenty one alabama legalize the practice and by the end of the nineteen forties organized a state wide program for the supervision of grain midwives and nutrients that era ended in alabama in nineteen seventy six when the state legislature outlawed the practice last spring in alabama i ain't got on eleven widow in
sweetwater greenville county around nineteen tn times were hard but on these family was fortunate in comparison to the other is during that time while most black slave owners ali's father his own land and plenty of that we made our all out we'll really going we head out we may raise on me i'll call on our grits and rice raised don't think leave early and on our own place we never had to share crop within a body count because when we hit land in campbell up when in the end we had everything that you're nine and a fireman ed and liane one summer and you remember most about growing up he knew i could remember all the place was there happy to me because we had so much to look thought to and then you know we just live and i want to look like the post bin
laden and so we just had a plane look like hot which will and that we do know we do know we supposed to vet it so that made us happy bonnie's childhood was rich and full in many ways there were some basic things she lacked she'd marry other fifteen brothers and sisters had the benefit of a high school education most of are learning she says came from her mother who was the greatest teacher and investment well we didn't get to go to school i did until i was why would say it at the man made it because it was so many bubbles and that time my parents had to pay a certain amount whether turin to go to school and i'll have to pay teachers and so that there was a lot a lot of money although we met plenty to eat plenty to where there was an online and many many that to white ball and they had to pay follow those
points and that made the younger ones it's the home until bill one that up saving our the you know and another thing do this and that and that's right and that's wrong and all of them they know what it's you in an alley about our new logo and that's where i am today about their current lives with them about that hughes now with our graduate from them and that was han school and college education can sit over what is going on there because i made a good living out of it i mean how great going on on that are like that that there's a lot of work with that bo master's degree and i asked the awakening
go away his mother leila i have been asked that question so many turns on its commonsense mother we had is smart ideas and put your ideas to weight is very light commonsense wears them and not write you put all that together and you can use your mother with well sonny's mother and grandmother before her where midwives and it was on his mother passed on her skill and knowledge to a daughter being a sickly child and unable to work on the family farm along with her sisters and brothers and i spent most of the mothers and babies you know she get me to deliver although our shadows
up outside in another room or something but as she gave me with what you do i can't remember when our brother got married and now i'm matt it'd be up to my house up just about their role in it and we were calling for him and then when she was in that labor with the second tower then i had to go and tend to the first one in the other room and in those days the house is an outcry santa they educate people who is away when nasa smile was in labor are people decry to see what was going out and so what was going on in that i always wanted to be i know it's only cause i feel like if i was in there it within this error in their houses when my father beale when my older brother elmo that man come home and that's the house and i was peeping through to cry
baby was born a sellout that's a little house after the peeping episode when only knew that delivering babies would be her life's calling she never wavered from that and by the time she was sixteen she was assisting a local doctor on deliveries it wasn't until several years later that she moved to appeal and enrolled in the counties and it would free training program and began an apprenticeship under rodney that's who invited me to come to class at the midwife a minute and meet the supervisor and she carried me and then eight manning cleared me with heart and he's a supervisor had to take me with her own different and delivers and the real wound that you know if you get as we came in the air when she delivered twins she delivered the twins won the first one to get evidence
and playing with is completely out no life no breath and she tried our secret to get life and brett and then as she put it down an uptick that up a minute set or to put it down and babies they had and that's the first set of our noses baby india it has a hobby but no great surprise she found and maine and was with the second baby she delivered the other two leanne dress that address naming asked deal of work and with that little voice maybe and that us golf cart be then i fear that flew away and threw mouth to mouth resuscitation and then i had taken my hand off as a pump a new brain and make the wind blow back out is most normal there was an old man now
and the victory can follow simon hall go you want to do some and be successful at it if you gave do it first time then tried a second time do did the time with it and you're getting so that's the father son in oracle that's way out there actually can and i didn't have to give it the mathematics as a patient in a mobile courted breathe on his own after about two months of the midway for training classes and spending time as an apprentice only was issued her first permit but the train didn't stop they are she and every other great a midwife permitted by the state had to attend monthly meetings at their county boards of health a granny midwives training of along the lines of being taught how to make or dressings how to sterilize scissors on a wood burning stove and how to design the contents of the midwives bed they would teach how
to hello baby how to get growth in the baby if the end how would do that but don't take a chance on this fight may been that type at and there was plenty of time if you didn't take a chance you would make it to the hospital with babies said means according to public health guidelines many midwives could only do normal deliveries and could only accept patients who already been seen by a doctor oh yeah she had to have a prenatal care from the doctor and also the doctor would have to send me a slip that he had gay people a prenatal care and she was eligible for home delivered it was for decades from the time only logan delivered her first baby to the day she delivered her last in the early years struggling to support herself and her young son it delivered babies and poor and remote areas of the bill canny by night and work as eliminating one of the city's more affluent
areas by day i had a job of all time our demand delivery i had a job and i would get a call from my job it was understood that our mom midwife way was my pride him out fights what if i get called them in and out walking and it was understood about the cut my hair the place and time around and walk out house go to work all the pottery that i was surveyed thirty six people for them just about the time he was an excessive number atlanta to you now i got a call and i walked out in the middle of it you know and once i got called again apologies and it was for this reason and effective at so exactly punch time clocks the only always kept a black backpack and miguel today that black bag is one of her fondest treasures from her years as an issue like everybody is it just in what's in the bed
when out to show it because i've used it so long and i think if you're using everything that was in it there was two sides to a headline now i'm lying on the girls that they're waiting amasses is no says as balls on the baby side of a hit i had all sales as soon i train and then we'll to date i would sell so been very nice to overthrow an olive that pay en mass scale mass chaos is what i worry about baby with mr hamill baby i always carry this an outcome not like this claim of babies came here because kraus on the line and then i lose this
many years to pick it up to win and have him that was filmed allegedly went to the smallest baby ever fit into those scales ladies fewer than three pounds this law has made a way for iran to net let that until i live in down polo playing he was some will buy baby and mama that was one of the mothers there dr golde and i looked at that will baby and i'm pivoting and so because i'll say it she was dropped when she could see the baby she was dropped when the baby would bow and a baby is about that if i did it in five six years old and the steel drum so feingold and the largest baby only delivered
fourteen times fourteen on the white baby no play handball mr baig during the four years that she practiced only delivered more than a thousand babies and never lost a one she remembers the birds as if they were only weeks ago her first delivery was breech and the most difficult she remembers having to deal with the space first i had to take that one only into the hospital because i didn't have gotten the victim and i hadn't hit it through the book that out of state and what was some on what was to do with a case like that is a hit on him since i got there at eighteen one but a few minutes about that came through there you don't we say he had a job you could have all eyes as you did he said that's what you call bass voice
and then he showed me how to handle the next hour that i met face for us to take these binders wreaths to the t bone through the inside and get the cheap on why she and not in the contract you work ethic that room in their men and make the foreign conflicts in the net that soon come back her mom about it and i met fellow man only slavery was definitely one of the law as a woman who says of her work i'd rather see a baby being born into the world that in the plan when she started in nineteen forty eight she would get three four maybe ten dollars barber admits she was lucky but it wasn't unusual to be paid nothing at all because times were somehow
their heart while on the mothers haven't contraction i'll be getting on or scary old basel some encouragement baby address us up and put on it when he got here and to lose that one white lady delivered innovative at three o'clock and the way to do it and then i had cords going bankrupt for an atheist but those two inspectors and you know that was a hot time in a long time ago in the very old days many midwives use home remedies out of necessity always says he never had to rely on the way her mother and grandmother did but she remembers it you someone a lot like they did the pope didn't have any
doctor even know that they can go back to get that prevail there burned badly needed you at that time but the operation that scene about when a man loves a party but there was a weak they're really figure for people in mothers usually setup fee will activate involved a whole lot they don't do that very much mona but then there was a team that we gave him they used to be and they're yellow when i mean once you go out the empty those million tweets and make the tea out of it that a film buff and in her day says lacerations didn't amount to anything and most often they didn't happen all consuming project the reason that didn't have their limits and lacerations i was taught to use my heart pound out these events and then i would use the heart oh now patients
there a contraction and that what does lubricate ski an enabler it would expand better yet a whole lot of legislation from coming paying out the money had i had planned thank you good to see a while you about mob name is only refers to the thousands living as an early eighties and she still in touch with a lot of all are the pan mr davis those sins me and birthday cards and christmas cards in cameo the phone and then mothers duty always i see a lot of my babies she was an it was an absolute ghost story of the bank and then it will come as opening hey if someone asked you don't know me do yes not no he said this is in a miller's gullah you know you delivered me and she had to reach
wrong with that she may get through the house and went to the house at the end and i never would've known about letting me that i live in that deliver you that i have five children and it at hand for the children and how that oh he was able i will have failed her when i was pregnant with sierra math third child and i knew so many islamic law agents are hearing no bail it was the next year that her license was no longer was not remain sane content of this man only and the year after aren't fair was born when they have to take that continued to write and we corresponded ending with neglect into tehran week stating contact like to say
it and visit with them by the time the campbell's daughter sarah was one of the last only attended all the layman if we had been made illegal in alabama in nineteen seventy six and enabling thought about ali and other practicing around mid wives to continue to work at the discretion of the local boards of health in nineteen eighty four the more we'll county board of health used his discretion and on march twenty second notified only that her permit would not be renewed that she was in effect been retired it just made me sick because i wear it really wasn't ready to be retiring i didn't feel like that age but that just inhaled the fever nobody to retire and i had a book that i kept my room patients and that had engaged me hold full book that i had their turn back and let them know that i think that are
coming out with will be because it says the reasons the board gave her voice decision were her age and a diminishing need for many midwives immobile county but she will leave it went much deeper than that joy larsen was director of nursing services for more deal county at the time only one time now we have plans were successful in continuing with their activity until the day they felt that they want to retire now really was no different she was oh she didn't go to the activity as going too and she followed through on seeing on presenting the information for birth certificates within the founding period on cash she had only one problem and that is the problem of physicians giving her the foul clearance for the baby to be born natasha have no difficulty in getting initial prescription to say that she could deliver the baby away cackling town for them the prescription at the end of the pregnancy six weeks prior to delivery there was a difficulty in obtaining prescriptions all right now
to my ideal i have to say the ladder why doctors stop sign matt bissonnette from our babies it was just writing and really show now because of so many white girls wanted to stay home and hal natural child and they had that you've been guided by the head to use the bloodbath both a white doctor's notes that given me on the sliver on the river i accepted the boys decision and her retirement with both joy and sorrow a little sorrow for the fact that she could no longer do the work that she says was a job from god but a whole lot of joy for the media she was able to do it and the babies she carefully guided into the world alone there were and you know what maybe good about to go back and be bombing their income
that until the air there's no way out danny lee loggins of this world are representative of midwifery as it used to be great he made with three is something that is most likely gone forever and it's a place we see a new breed of midwives they're nurses they're certified and they're highly trained when i made winfrey was outlawed fourteen years ago a new era of certified nurse midwifery was ushered in currently in alabama territory like nurse midwives practicing in a different sites spanned mcfarland and seven others like her work or the lingering areas gift of life program providing care for indigent patients the overall goal is to provide more and better health care and ultimately improve the state's infant mortality rate which recent statistics place at twelve point one one thousand live births only logan says she sees the change and recognizes that hers is a dying breed
that's one of the reasons she felt so compelled to my life story and my wit is an account of a nice life with an introduction by birmingham native catherine clark she said to me i've got so much in here that i could just explode she said i was somebody to know that i knew what i knew i want people to realize what i mean i had so much but i had experience doing man deliver that i wanted to leave it back or that it might have somebody somebody may get mom phelps got maybe you do that it will hit them to have some time here and i asked god i wanted to leave that that invite and wine before they covered me up any eva me to do
since the book was published in august of eighty nine on has been featured on the today show and in life magazine that life has been the focus of a one woman play is based in richmond virginia and she continues to travel and speak at me literally being around the state i get calls from chicago says this book come out more it's a man i am going to come up on a warrant nice when she said i read your book and she was from philadelphia i read your book and your book let me know you are allowable and on monday if you say you've come out saying you're going to have to come up and they live on monday it's estimated there are two thousand practicing lane midwives throughout the country in nineteen fifty six they were fifteen hundred in alabama along a recent survey indicates that les made with three is clearly illegal in ten states clearly illegal into another's and legally ambiguous in the district of columbia and the
remaining states there is a sense that the same world they call these went into service sit them out that may be debatable but that these women made a tremendous contribution to maternal and infant care probably isn't an early voting story of life and where it speaks for itself and a grandson that i would change a law that did you know coming out and that question had been asked me so manic and i went in changing that to go to school just got it to be about the army back in atlanta managed to do it was all out i was out of one is what god and listening it's both if you have a question or comment about this program or if you want to purchase a copy of it please call one eight
hundred two three nine five to three three or you may write the alabama experience box eighty seven thousand tuscaloosa alabama three five forty seven please include the word mother went on your quest the
The Alabama Experience
Motherwit, Common Sense, and Good Judgement
Producing Organization
University of Alabama Center for Public Television
Contributing Organization
University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
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Episode Description
Features the life and work of Onnie Logan who was a granny midwife for most of her life. The piece also looks at the history of midwifery specifically in the state of Alabama.
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A series that focuses on bringing to life the inspiring stores and empowering characters that have helped form Alabama's past and are working to shape its future.
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: Logan, Onnie
: Chestnut, Delores
Interviewee: Rolison, Joy
Interviewee: Clark, Katherine
Interviewee: Kimpel, Toni
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Center for Public Television
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Alabama Center for Public Television
Identifier: cpb-aacip-54ac120292a (Filename)
Format: BetacamSP
Duration: 0:30:17
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Chicago: “The Alabama Experience; Motherwit, Common Sense, and Good Judgement,” 1992, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed October 3, 2023,
MLA: “The Alabama Experience; Motherwit, Common Sense, and Good Judgement.” 1992. University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. October 3, 2023. <>.
APA: The Alabama Experience; Motherwit, Common Sense, and Good Judgement. Boston, MA: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from