"Motherwit" and "common sense" were the watchwords of Onnie Lee Logan's career as a lay midwife in Mobile County, Alabama.
Although she received little formal education, endured the Depression and faced a racist society, Onnie Lee Logan experienced her life as the triumphant fulfillment of a dream to be one of those who could bring babies into the world, as her mother and grandmother had done before her.
Her story, told in the soft, now vanishing dialect of the Deep South, is powerful and fascinating oral history. Motherwit follows her life through her work as a servant for a wealthy Mobile family, her troubled marriage during the Depression, and her struggle to become a licensed midwife. We watch as she delivers the babies of both black and white women of Alabama--losing only one baby in 40 years. Onnie Lee Logan's forbearance in the face of the crushing prejudice of the rural South makes inspiring and unforgettable reading. When she passed away in 1995, the New York Times declared her a “folk hero,” and Time called her book “a feminist classic.”
Filled with startling drama and profound wisdom, Motherwit is an important contribution to African-American history.
"An amazing story. A heroic woman and life after my own heart." Alice Walker
"To have told her own story, to have borne this eloquent witness to her life is Onnie Lee Logan's final triumph." Ellen Douglas in the Washington Post Book World
"Oral history doesn't come much better than this." Booklist
"Beautiful...her passion rings through in every line." Los Angeles Times
An Alabama midwife recalls her 40-year career, describing how she began her life's work and her eventual acceptance by the medical community. ``In Logan's rich, regional speech . . . a strong, faith-filled woman is heard; her eloquent memoir is vivid Americana,'' asserted PW.