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We are excited to announce 2024's Keynote Speaker

Dr Andrea Livesey.jpg
Dr Andrea Livesey
Senior Lecturer in the History of Slavery Liverpool John Moores University

Dr Andrea Livesey is a specialist in slavery and its legacies in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, and Senior Lecturer in the History of Slavery at Liverpool John Moores University.


After completing her PhD in 2015, she has published articles on the experiences of enslaved women in the United States' Lower South and has a forthcoming book in 2025 on interviews with formerly enslaved people in Louisiana. Andrea's current project explores Black maternal health, she is specifically interested in the role that enslaved Black midwives in the nineteenth century played in providing medical care.


She is currently PI on the British Academy funded Black Maternal Health project working alongside International Slavery Museum curators, creative art therapists and writers, and Liverpool John Moores University Midwifery.

This talk will develop some themes related to my current research project on Black midwives and Black maternal health.  I begin with a photograph of Marie Hoover (1831-1936), who ‘grannied’ (delivered) generations of children – Black and white – on Oakland plantation, Louisiana, over seven decades.  Hoover’s picture inspired an academic journey to understand the importance of community-based birthing practices throughout the nineteenth-century Black diaspora and to understand the knowledge system that underpinned the practice of Black midwives.  Discussing archival research, folklore and ‘folk medicine’, and the programme of team-led creative community engagement, I will discuss the methodology used to try to fill in some the extensive archival silences around Black health, but more importantly to use history as a tool to understand and confront present racial injustice and health disparities.

Imagining ‘Granny Marie’: Understanding Black Maternal Health in Diasporic Spaces (Louisiana and Liverpool)
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