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African American Slave Medicine

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Overview

African American Slave Medicine offers a critical examination of how African American slaves' medical needs were addressed during the years before and surrounding the Civil War. Drawing upon exslave interviews conducted during the 1930s and 1940s by the Works Project Administration, Dr. Herbert C. Covey inventories many of the herbal, plant, and nonplant remedies used by African American folk practitioners during slavery. Covey places great emphasis on the participation of slaves as health practitioners, the importance of faith in the practice, and the modern scientific evidence behind each plant's significance in health recovery. Through his study, Dr. Covey unravels many of the complex social relationships found between the African American slaves, Whites, folk practitioners, and patients, giving readers a groundbreaking look into an otherwise unknown moment in history. African American Slave Medicine is a compelling and captivating read that will appeal to scholars of African American history and those interested in folk medicine.
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Editorial Reviews

August 2008 The Journal Of Southern History
Covey's approach is straightforward and impartial. He offers a comprehensive analysis of the literature, judiciously recognizing the work of other historians in this field. At the same time, his contribution stems from an insightful monographic focus....This volume is worthy of a wide readership across disciplines....A precise and substantial work that serves as a functional primer for slavery and medicine in the United States.
Herbalgram
This is an excellent treatment of a subject of increasing interest for the lay public and scholars alike. The appendix presents a wealth of information previously undocumented as to source, now confirmed and associated with real people as sources. This book has much to recommend it to a wide interdisciplinary audience. This volume cannot help but enrich the reader.
August 2008 The Journal of Southern History
Covey's approach is straightforward and impartial. He offers a comprehensive analysis of the literature, judiciously recognizing the work of other historians in this field. At the same time, his contribution stems from an insightful monographic focus....This volume is worthy of a wide readership across disciplines....A precise and substantial work that serves as a functional primer for slavery and medicine in the United States.
August 2009 Herbalgram
This is an excellent treatment of a subject of increasing interest for the lay public and scholars alike. The appendix presents a wealth of information previously undocumented as to source, now confirmed and associated with real people as sources. This book has much to recommend it to a wide interdisciplinary audience. This volume cannot help but enrich the reader.
Katherine Bankole
African American Slave Medicine by Herbert C. Covey is a concise and cogent treatment of the enslavement of African people and herbal pharmacopoeia in the United States. The text makes an important contribution to the expanding field of slavery and medicine, covering the areas of American history, African American Studies, and the history of science and medicine.
The Journal of Southern History
Covey's approach is straightforward and impartial. He offers a comprehensive analysis of the literature, judiciously recognizing the work of other historians in this field. At the same time, his contribution stems from an insightful monographic focus....This volume is worthy of a wide readership across disciplines....A precise and substantial work that serves as a functional primer for slavery and medicine in the United States.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739116456
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 9/1/2008
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 916,288
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Herbert C. Covey is an instructor in the College of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii
1 Introduction: Medical Care and Slaves 1
2 White Medical Care of Slaves 19
3 Slave Folk Practitioners 41
4 Conjuring and Hoodoo 55
5 Slave Herbal and Plant Treatments 73
6 Enslaved African American Non-Herbal Treatments and Materia Medica 125
7 Closing Observations 147 Appendix A Plant and Herb Treatments 151 Appendix B Unknown Plant / Herbal Treatments 181 Appendix C Non-Plant or Herbal Treatments 183 References 195 Index 201 About the Author 207
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