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In recent years, as high rates of maternal mortality in the U. have alarmed researchers, one statistic has been especially concerning. Put another way, a black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71 percent more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes.

In a national study of five medical complications that are common causes of maternal death and injury, black women were two to three times more likely to die than white women who had the same condition.

Again, New York City offers a startling example: A 2016 analysis of five years of data found that black college-educated mothers who gave birth in local hospitals were more likely to suffer severe complications of pregnancy or childbirth than white women who never graduated from high school.

The fact that someone with Shalon’s social and economic advantages is at higher risk highlights how profound the inequities really are, said Raegan Mc Donald-Mosley, the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who met her in graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and was one of her closest friends.

Sometimes she held Soleil, fussing with her pink blanket.

Sometimes Samuel held her, or one of Shalon’s friends.

Black women sex workers in primetime is a whole different deal representationally, though, and we need to OWN that.2.) Tyler Perry can only represent Black men positively by throwing Black women under the bus. I like to think she has been duped, hoodwinked, and bamboozled. 4.) On his best day and her worst day, Tyler ain’t even in Shonda’s stratosphere.In other words, I am not advocating for positive representations. TP doesn’t complicate Black women; he demonizes them. When his heavy-handedness is still not enough to chastise and discipline us for being independent, driven, and sex-positive, he will resort to straight up distortions of history, and assume that his working class audience will miss the sleight-of-hand. Because of course history is replete with poor Black women raping rich white men. And the fact that he would traffic in such an utter fiction — a fiction that is the very basis for centuries of brutality against Black women on the grounds that they are by nature un-rapeable, a fiction that drove the creation of the culture of dissemblance and the politics of respectability — makes his cultural production not merely bad but despicable.We don’t hate Liv, because while we might reject many of her choices, we identify with her as a human being with needs, emotions, and as a person with the ability to do good in the world, despite the bad she also does. A few of Shalon’s villagers rose to pay tribute; others sat quietly, poring through their funeral programs.Daniel Sellers, Shalon’s cousin from Ohio and the baby’s godfather, spoke for all of them when he promised Wanda that she would not have to raise her only grandchild alone.

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