This is a no-holds-barred response to the liberal and conservative retreat from an assertive, activist, and socially transformative civil rights agenda of recent years--using a black feminist lens and the issue of  the impact of recent legislation, social policy, and welfare "reform" on black women's--especially poor black women's--control over their bodies' autonomy and their freedom to bear and raise children with respect and dignity in a society whose white mainstream is determined to demonize, even criminalize their lives.   It gives its readers a cogent  legal and historical argument for a radically new , and socially transformative, definition of  "liberty" and "equality" for the American polity from a black feminist perspective.
“Monumental. . . . An important contribution to the literature of civil rights, reproductive issues, racism and feminism.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Compelling. . . . Deftly shows how distorted and racist constructions of black motherhood have affected politics, law, and policy in the United States.” —Ms.

“Brilliant, controversial, and profoundly valuable. . . . An important stepping-stone toward transforming the way black women and their children are treated in America.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Chilling. . . . It becomes difficult to reject the author’s thesis. . . that there is a sustained, and in some quarters deliberate, campaign to punish Black women—especially the poor—for having children.” —The National Law Journal

“An important and riveting book that skillfully and compellingly explains contemporary challenges to reproductive freedom.” —Patricia Hill Collins, author of Black Feminist Thought

“A must-read for all those who claim to care about racial and gender justice in America.” —Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

“A leading-edge critique of reproductive racism . . . In this current era, we discover the foresight and absolute necessity of Roberts’s approach.” —Angela Davis

“Race in America cannot be fully understood without reading this compelling investigation. . . . Timely, insightful and unforgettable.” —Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy
 
“A seminal work. . . .  Indispensable. . . . Prescient. . . . Even more urgent and more pertinent than it was twenty years ago.” —Harriet Washington, author of Medical Apartheid
 
“A work of stunning erudition and finely calibrated moral concern. . . . Urgent, evocative and indispensable.” —William Jelani Cobb, author of The Substance of Hope