An exciting contribution to a growing field of study that embraces the diversity of African American health care experiences and highlights the nuances of historical research on race and health.--Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Doctoring Freedom: The Politics of African American Medical Care in Slavery and Emancipationby Gretchen Long
For enslaved and newly freed African Americans, attaining freedom and citizenship without health for themselves and their families would have been an empty victory. Even before emancipation, African Americans recognized that control of their bodies was a critical battleground in their struggle for autonomy, and they devised strategies to retain at least some of that control. In Doctoring Freedom, Gretchen Long tells the stories of African Americans who fought for access to both medical care and medical education, showing the important relationship between medical practice and political identity.
Working closely with antebellum medical journals, planters' diaries, agricultural publications, letters from wounded African American soldiers, WPA narratives, and military and Freedmen's Bureau reports, Long traces African Americans' political acts to secure medical care: their organizing mutual-aid societies, their petitions to the federal government, and, as a last resort, their founding of their own medical schools, hospitals, and professional organizations. She also illuminates work of the earliest generation of black physicians, whose adult lives spanned both slavery and freedom. For African Americans, Long argues, claiming rights as both patients and practitioners was a political and highly charged act in both slavery and emancipation.
- The University of North Carolina Press
- Publication date:
- The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.90(d)
What People are saying about this
A compelling synthesis of the politics of health amidst the promise of freedom. Long's descriptively nuanced investigation of racial and health ideologies from the late antebellum era into the early twentieth century touches on a broad, still resonant question--the place of African Americans in the changing society.--Keith Wailoo, Princeton University
Meet the Author
Gretchen Long is associate professor of history at Williams College.
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