, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 571–590 | Cite as

Birth control and the black American: A matter of genocide?

  • Robert G. Weisbord


During the 1960’s and continuing into the 1970’s, the charge that birth control and abortion are integral elements of a white genocidal conspiracy directed against Afro-Americans has been heard with increasing frequency and stridency in black communities. The genocide theory finds greatest acceptance among spokesmen for black nationalist and black revolutionary groups, but suspicion of family planning programs is not limited to them. An analysis of black leadership opinion on birth control is provided in this paper. The black debate over the desirability of population limitation is traced back approximately fifty years. It began with a dispute between those blacks who believed that in sheer numbers there was strength and those blacks, such as W. E. B. DuBois, who argued that among human races, as among vegetables, quality and not quantity counted. An appreciation of the sexual exploitation of the chattel slave in the ante-bellum period, which did not end with emancipation, is also essential to an understanding of the roots and rationale of the genocide notion which are the foci of this paper.


Birth Control Black Woman Black Community Black People Birth Control Program 
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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert G. Weisbord
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of Rhode IslandKingston

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