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Working Cures

Author: Sharla M. Fett
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807853788
Size: 79.41 MB
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Working Cures explores black health under slavery showing how herbalism, conjuring, midwifery and other African American healing practices became arts of resistance in the antebellum South and invoked conflicts.

Birthing A Slave

Author: Marie Jenkins Schwartz
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674022027
Size: 21.97 MB
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The deprivations and cruelty of slavery have overshadowed our understanding of the institution's most human dimension: birth. We often don't realize that after the United States stopped importing slaves in 1808, births were more important than ever; slavery and the southern way of life could continue only through babies born in bondage. In the antebellum South, slaveholders' interest in slave women was matched by physicians struggling to assert their own professional authority over childbirth, and the two began to work together to increase the number of infants born in the slave quarter. In unprecedented ways, doctors tried to manage the health of enslaved women from puberty through the reproductive years, attempting to foster pregnancy, cure infertility, and resolve gynecological problems, including cancer. Black women, however, proved an unruly force, distrustful of both the slaveholders and their doctors. With their own healing traditions, emphasizing the power of roots and herbs and the critical roles of family and community, enslaved women struggled to take charge of their own health in a system that did not respect their social circumstances, customs, or values. Birthing a Slave depicts the competing approaches to reproductive health that evolved on plantations, as both black women and white men sought to enhance the health of enslaved mothers--in very different ways and for entirely different reasons. Birthing a Slave is the first book to focus exclusively on the health care of enslaved women, and it argues convincingly for the critical role of reproductive medicine in the slave system of antebellum America.

Medicine And Slavery

Author: Todd L. Savitt
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
ISBN: 9780252008740
Size: 77.70 MB
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A detailed analysis of the occurrence of disease and the quality of medical care in antebellum Virginia focuses on the treatment of Black slaves and freemen

Secret Doctors

Author: Wonda L. Fontenot
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0897893549
Size: 59.60 MB
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Based on an ethnographic study of the traditional medicine of African Americans in the rural southern United States, this work concentrates on the original Louisiana Territory, with its Native and African American indigenous traditions, and the French migration and Black Haitian freed and enslaved population influx during the 1700s and 1800s. Fontenot finds strong ties between rural Louisiana practices and Haitian and West African medicine. The ethnographer, a native of the region where she did her research, is respected among local practicing secret doctors and is able to give a unique insider's view. Aside from documenting a rare treasure of our American cultural diversity, this study has a wider purpose in the field of health practices and policy. The high cost of Western medicine, lack of access to quality care, and the patient-doctor ratio are areas of major national concern, and rural residents and people of color are recognized to be the most at-risk populations. The alternative health-care system presented here can strengthen mainstream medicine's understanding of such patient populations while preserving valuable knowledge of healing plants and culturally sensitive therapies.

Medical Bondage

Author: Deirdre Cooper Owens
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820351342
Size: 16.84 MB
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The accomplishments of pioneering doctors such as John Peter Mettauer, James Marion Sims, and Nathan Bozeman are well documented. It is also no secret that these nineteenth-century gynecologists performed experimental caesarean sections, ovariotomies, and obstetric fistula repairs primarily on poor and powerless women. Medical Bondage breaks new ground by exploring how and why physicians denied these women their full humanity yet valued them as “medical superbodies” highly suited for medical experimentation. In Medical Bondage, Cooper Owens examines a wide range of scientific literature and less formal communications in which gynecologists created and disseminated medical fictions about their patients, such as their belief that black enslaved women could withstand pain better than white “ladies.” Even as they were advancing medicine, these doctors were legitimizing, for decades to come, groundless theories related to whiteness and blackness, men and women, and the inferiority of other races or nationalities. Medical Bondage moves between southern plantations and northern urban centers to reveal how nineteenth-century American ideas about race, health, and status influenced doctor-patient relationships in sites of healing like slave cabins, medical colleges, and hospitals. It also retells the story of black enslaved women and of Irish immigrant women from the perspective of these exploited groups and thus restores for us a picture of their lives.

A Luminous Brotherhood

Author: Emily Suzanne Clark
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469628791
Size: 74.70 MB
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In the midst of a nineteenth-century boom in spiritual experimentation, the Cercle Harmonique, a remarkable group of African-descended men, practiced Spiritualism in heavily Catholic New Orleans from just before the Civil War to the end of Reconstruction. In this first comprehensive history of the Cercle, Emily Suzanne Clark illuminates how highly diverse religious practices wind in significant ways through American life, culture, and history. Clark shows that the beliefs and practices of Spiritualism helped Afro-Creoles mediate the political and social changes in New Orleans, as free blacks suffered increasingly restrictive laws and then met with violent resistance to suffrage and racial equality. Drawing on fascinating records of actual seance practices, the lives of the mediums, and larger citywide and national contexts, Clark reveals how the messages that the Cercle received from the spirit world offered its members rich religious experiences as well as a forum for political activism inspired by republican ideals. Messages from departed souls including Francois Rabelais, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Robert E. Lee, Emanuel Swedenborg, and even Confucius discussed government structures, the moral progress of humanity, and equality. The Afro-Creole Spiritualists were encouraged to continue struggling for justice in a new world where "bright" spirits would replace raced bodies.

Medicalizing Blackness

Author: Rana A. Hogarth
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469632888
Size: 79.49 MB
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In 1748, as yellow fever raged in Charleston, South Carolina, doctor John Lining remarked, "There is something very singular in the constitution of the Negroes, which renders them not liable to this fever." Lining's comments presaged ideas about blackness that would endure in medical discourses and beyond. In this fascinating medical history, Rana A. Hogarth examines the creation and circulation of medical ideas about blackness in the Atlantic World during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She shows how white physicians deployed blackness as a medically significant marker of difference and used medical knowledge to improve plantation labor efficiency, safeguard colonial and civic interests, and enhance control over black bodies during the era of slavery. Hogarth refigures Atlantic slave societies as medical frontiers of knowledge production on the topic of racial difference. Rather than looking to their counterparts in Europe who collected and dissected bodies to gain knowledge about race, white physicians in Atlantic slaveholding regions created and tested ideas about race based on the contexts in which they lived and practiced. What emerges in sharp relief is the ways in which blackness was reified in medical discourses and used to perpetuate notions of white supremacy.

Surviving Hiv Aids In The Inner City

Author: Sabrina Chase
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813553482
Size: 19.16 MB
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Surviving HIV/AIDS in the Inner City explores the survival strategies of poor, HIV-positive Puerto Rican women by asking four key questions: Given their limited resources, how did they manage an illness as serious as HIV/AIDS? Did they look for alternatives to conventional medical treatment? Did the challenges they faced deprive them of self-determination, or could they help themselves and each other? What can we learn from these resourceful women? Based on her work with minority women living in Newark, New Jersey, Sabrina Marie Chase illuminates the hidden traps and land mines burdening our current health care system as a whole. For the women she studied, alliances with doctors, nurses, and social workers could literally mean the difference between life and death. By applying the theories of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu to the day-to-day experiences of HIV-positive Latinas, Chase explains why some struggled and even died while others flourished and thrived under difficult conditions. These gripping, true-life stories advocate for those living with chronic illness who depend on the health care "safety net." Through her exploration of life and death among Newark's resourceful women, Chase provides the groundwork for inciting positive change in the U.S. health care system.

Medical Apartheid

Author: Harriet A. Washington
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780767929394
Size: 35.71 MB
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From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions. The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.

Plantation Church

Author: Noel Leo Erskine
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195369130
Size: 65.92 MB
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In Plantation Church, Noel Leo Erskine investigates the history of the Black Church as it developed both in the United States and the Caribbean after the arrival of enslaved Africans. Typically, when people talk about the "Black Church" they are referring to African-American churches in the U.S., but in fact, the majority of African slaves were brought to the Caribbean. It was there, Erskine argues, that the Black religious experience was born. The massive Afro-Caribbean population was able to establish a form of Christianity that preserved African Gods and practices, but fused them with Christian teachings, resulting in religions such as Cuba's Santería. Despite their common ancestry, the Black religious experience in the U.S. was markedly different because African Americans were a political and cultural minority. The Plantation Church became a place of solace and resistance that provided its members with a sense of kinship, not only to each other but also to their ancestral past. Despite their common origins, the Caribbean and African American Church are almost never studied together. This book investigates the parallel histories of these two strands of the Black Church, showing where their historical ties remain strong and where different circumstances have led them down unexpectedly divergent paths. The result will be a work that illuminates the histories, theologies, politics, and practices of both branches of the Black Church. This project presses beyond the nation state framework and raises intercultural and interregional questions with implications for gender, race and class. Noel Leo Erskine employs a comparative method that opens up the possibility of rethinking the language and grammar of how Black churches have been understood in the Americas and extends the notion of church beyond the United States. The forging of a Black Christianity from sources African and European, allows for an examination of the meaning of church when people of African descent are culturally and politically in the majority. Erskine also asks the pertinent question of what meaning the church holds when the converse is true: when African Americans are a cultural and political minority.