Date of Award
Thesis - Open Access
MA in Women's History
This thesis explores the life of Onnie Lee Logan, an Alabama midwife, through the lenses of race, gender, and religion. I examine Motherwit, Logan’s autobiography as told to author Katherine Clark, and use secondary sources to analyze Mrs. Logan’s activism as evidenced in her text. In addition to exploring Mrs. Logan’s activism, I also examine the legacy she left behind in Mobile County, Alabama following the revocation of her midwifery license by the state of Alabama in the 1980s. Through a close read of Motherwit, readers can gain insight into Logan’s resistance to white supremacy and the coercive intimacy she encountered throughout her life; her understanding of gender and her progressive traditionalist views; and the role of religion and how it shaped her worldview. I also examine infant and maternal mortality rates in Mobile County, and how these rates can be seen as connected to the loss of midwives like Logan. By interviewing women in Alabama who had illegal homebirths, as well as Katherine Clark, the author who assisted Logan in writing her autobiography, a vision of the current state of birth in Alabama unfolds alongside a deeper understanding of Logan’s life and experiences.
Brantley, Kathryn Leigh, ""Honey, I Am History:" The Life and Legacy of Onnie Lee Logan, Alabama Midwife" (2020). Women's History Theses. 49.