SAN LUIS OBISPO – Author and activist Linda Janet Holmes brings her keynote lecture “Listen To Me Good: Women’s Health, Legendary African American Midwives, and Student Activism in Black Communities” to Cuesta College’s San Luis Obispo campus on Wednesday, Feb 26 at 2:00 p.m. in the Humanities Forum, Room 6304. The public is invited to attend.

As part of Cuesta College’s Black History Month programming, the lecture will focus on the health disparities and multicultural health through the lens of legendary African American midwives. Holmes will also cover how midwifery enhanced the experience of southern black women despite the racism and segregation that shaped their society.

As a long-time women’s health activist, Holmes’ pioneering work and knowledge highlight pressing healthcare trends and practices. According to history professor Zachary McKiernan, one such concern is that black infants are twice as likely to die at birth than white infants (NYT, 2018) because of socio-economic disparities in black women’s lives. There are also recent trends of returning to traditional birthing practices which center around the knowledge of African American midwives.

“Holmes’ visit is aimed at engaging our students in an effort to enhance their intellectual and professional thinking,” said McKiernan. “The event is also an affirmative acknowledgment of Cuesta College’s commitment to broadening the knowledge of the local community and move towards a greater appreciation for diversity and inclusion.”

Linda Holmes is the author of “Listen To Me Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife,” which was co-authored with Margaret Charles Smith, a traditional African American Midwife. Holmes is currently writing her second book based on oral history interviews of diverse midwives from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana.