REVIEW: Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez was a profound, enlightening and heartbreaking book. I will never be the same after reading this book.
We have learned that many things in our history as a nation are unforgivable but yet they happened. We cannot forget these things otherwise, they may be repeated. Back in the early 70’s it came out that our government run agencies for women were distributing birth control for women of color and poor families. In many instances women were sterilized without proper informed consent. In this book two young girls ages 11 and 13 were sterilized because they were poor and black even though they were not sexually active. There were more than 70,000 women who were victims of this abuse. I’m heartbroken that there are people who felt they knew what was best for the future of these women.
I was a young adult back then and for the life of me I can’t remember this happening or the trial that took place. We can’t forget these things. This broke the summer after we learned of the Tuskegee experiments. How could this happen in our great nation? This is a book I will never forget. It has changed me for the better.
I would highly recommend this book. Although, it is Fiction, it is based on a trial and a sad part of our American history. I hope you take some time to look up Relf v. Weinberger and another trial Buck v. Bell. You will be astounded.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from #BookBrowse #Netgalley and #BerkleyPublishingGroup. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
SYNOPSIS: Inspired by true events that rocked the nation, a profoundly moving novel about a Black nurse in post-segregation Alabama who blows the whistle on a terrible wrong done to her patients, from the New York Times bestselling author of Wench.
Montgomery, Alabama, 1973. Fresh out of nursing school, Civil Townsend has big plans to make a difference, especially in her African American community. At the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic, she intends to help women make their own choices for their lives and bodies.
But when her first week on the job takes her down a dusty country road to a worn-down one-room cabin, she’s shocked to learn that her new patients, Erica and India, are children—just eleven and thirteen years old. Neither of the Williams sisters has even kissed a boy, but they are poor and Black, and for those handling the family’s welfare benefits, that’s reason enough to have the girls on birth control. As Civil grapples with her role, she takes India, Erica, and their family into her heart. Until one day she arrives at the door to learn the unthinkable has happened, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them.
Decades later, with her daughter grown and a long career in her wake, Dr. Civil Townsend is ready to retire, to find her peace, and to leave the past behind. But there are people and stories that refuse to be forgotten. That must not be forgotten.
Because history repeats what we don’t remember.