Thinking Big With Haitian Midwives

In Haiti, there are high rates of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Founded in 2014, the Foundation for Advancement of Haitian Midwives (FAHM) partners with and supports Haitian midwives through education and outreach. Their work is urgent today while Haiti is in political turmoil, and unrelenting assaults by paramilitary groups have led to severe insecurity in the capital.

“Most people who are drawn to this want to produce safe competent, evidence-based care and to respect people’s voices, preserving the honor and dignity of every human being.”

April 2024 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

Here are 25 fantastic books releasing this month that we recommend you dig into. There are stunning debuts, masterful historical fiction, kaleidoscopic short stories, thoughtful manifestas, moving memoirs, groundbreaking nonfiction, and so much more.

Lessons from Bosnia to Gaza and the Urgency for Change

As someone who lived in a war zone for over five years, north of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital, Sarajevo, I have borne witness to the horrors inflicted upon innocent souls women and children, my own community torn apart by violence and despair. Yet, in the face of such darkness, I have also seen the flicker of resilience, the unwavering spirit that refuses to be extinguished.

The failure of the international community to support a timely intervention in Bosnia has been well documented, but as I witness new conflicts across the globe in the three decades since, I see that we did not learn anything about protecting humanity. We cannot ignore the cries of innocent lives, including all the hostages caught in the crossfire of this conflict. Now is the time for decisive action; advocating to end relentless fighting and supporting urgent adequate delivery of humanitarian aid and medical assistance.

Listen to Black Women! A Review of ‘The Exorcist: Believer’

The Exorcist: Believer employs its Caribbean-based opening scene not to locate an “origin” for demonic possession, but to follow an actual blessing in the form of a protection spell over an unborn child. Given how Haiti has been traditionally demonized in Western culture, this representation already elevates this film as a counter-narrative.

In the end, the latest installment of The Exorcist does much to alter Black representations in the horror genre, giving them due reverence and centrality in a mainstream movie while also allowing them to survive.

‘Why We Still Love Zora’: Irma McClaurin on PBS Documentary ‘Claiming a Space’ and Zora Neale Hurston’s Legacy

PBS’ American Experience premieres documentary film on pioneering writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space is the first film to explore Hurston’s life and ethnographic work in great detail.

“Anthropology only started looking at the literary styles of novels and non-scholarly writing in the late ’80s. But Zora had already been there and done that,” said Irma McClaurin, Black feminist poet, anthropologist and Hurston expert.

In ‘The Third Reconstruction,’ Peniel E. Joseph Outlines the U.S. Struggle for Racial Justice in the 21st Century

In recent months, historians have clashed over whether history should be used as a tool for the politics of the present. But Peniel E. Joseph’s latest work, The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century demonstrates that not only is the personal political, but the past is too.

Joseph argues the dynamics of the present are never truly knowable until we anchor them to the contours of the past. This means to look at the Black women and queer Black people who have guided movements for social justice throughout American history.

December 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

I want to do my part in the disruption of the “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male—and to amplify indie publishers and amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, queer, trans, nonbinary, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities. You know … the rest of us.

‘Freda’ Is the Film We Need Now

Because Haiti is in the news again, we are bombarded with stories about unrelenting political turmoil, destabilizing unrest and crippling poverty.

Set in contemporary Port-au-Prince, Gessica Généus’s film Freda affirms that not only do Haitian women exist, but that their existence is replete with complexity and beauty. A feminist film in every way, Freda’s commitment to the female characters especially asks us to carefully consider what we look for when we see Haitian women.

When Women Were King

The Woman King, a new film starring Viola Davis, reclaims the narrative of the fiercely resistant African “Amazons.”

“My hope is that young African-descended girls and women see themselves in these powerful women. I hope they too will aspire for greatness.”