How Billion Dollar Baby Formula Companies Fed Into The Unfit Black Mother Narrative

baby bottle
Via Pixabay
Leslie Taylor-Grover
March 17, 2023

Annie Mae Fultz dragged herself into the emergency room.  She was hard of hearing and unable to speak, but it was clear she needed help. However, it was definitely not the kind she was about to get this time.

Fultz’s four girls were born healthy and instantly became famous. But the white doctor who delivered them wanted fame for himself. He named the girls and experimented on them, injecting the infants with dangerously high levels of vitamin C. But he wasn’t done exploiting the quadruplets and their family.

He signed a lucrative baby formula endorsement deal with Pet Milk. Pet Milk launched a campaign that convinced Black mothers that their formula was superior to breast milk. They made record-breaking profits while the Fultz family remained in poverty. But this story is far from over.

The doctor took custody of the girls to continue benefiting from their fame. This set a precedent for Black children to be taken from their families and portraying low-income and disabled Black mothers as unfit.

Associating bad parenting with income and ability is a dangerous move. We push back by fighting for access to quality medical care, creating lucrative employment opportunities for each other, and demanding safe, affordable childcare for Black women.

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