2nd Edition

Wake Up Little Susie Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade

By Rickie Solinger, Rickie Solinger Copyright 2000
    360 Pages
    by Routledge

    364 Pages
    by Routledge

    Rickie Solinger's passionate and powerful history serves to remind us of the importance of the feminist efforts that led to Roe v. Wade and the many other measures that have liberated women from the constraints of the past. -From the new foreword by Elaine Tyler May Twenty-five years after the Supreme Court's landmark decision, abortion rights are as fiercely contested as ever and current debates over welfare, workfare, and public assistance to women with children demonstrate the way in which race and class continue to effect women's reproductive freedom. A pioneering work, Wake Up Little Susie reveals how current attitudes toward these issues developed by examining their roots in the postwar era and discerning how differently they affected black and white women. A powerful and shocking book, Susie is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the complex and disturbing politics surrounding issues of race, class and reproductive rights. This new edition includes a foreword by the esteemed social historian, Elaine Tyler May, and an afterword by the author that places the issues examined in Susie in the context of the current controversies.

    Introduction Female and Fertile in the Fifties; Chapter one Chapter One The Stick and the Carrot: Public Meanings of Black and White Single Pregnancy in the Pre-Roe v. Wade Era; Chapter Two Chapter Two The Making of the “Matriarchy”: The Persistence of Biological Explanations for Black Single Pregnancy; Chapter Three Chapter Three The Girl Nobody Loved: Psychological Explanations for White Single Pregnancy; Chapter Four Chapter Four Behind the Fence: Maternity Homes, 1945–65; Chapter Five Chapter Five The Disposition of Illegitimate Babies I: The Postwar White Adoption Mandate; Chapter Six Chapter Six The Disposition of Illegitimate Babies II: A Taxpayers' Issue; Chapter Seven Chapter Seven The Population Bomb and the Sexual Revolution: Toward Choice; aft Afterword The Legacy of Racialized Single Motherhood—1950s and Beyond;


    Rickie Solinger is also the author of The Abortionist: A Woman Against the Law and editor of Abortion Wars: A Half Century of Struggle, 1950-2000. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

    "A stunning but troubling book that illuminates the deeply racialized terrain on which the politics of women's reproductive capacities and decisions have been played out. Contributing mightily to contemporary social policy debates, this rich history of single pregnancy from 1945 to 1965 warns us that reproductive rights must not only guard each woman's choice to contracept or to terminate a pregnancy, but also must win honor and social support for each woman's choice to become a mother." -- Gwendolyn Mink, author of Welfare's End
    "It is impossible to read Wake Up Little Susie without understanding that racism as well as a deeply felt distrust of women as mothers--magnified when the women are not formally subordinated to husbands--makes such odd national passions possible." -- Bernice L. Hausman, Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, vol 4.1