I am a medical anthropologist who has conducted original research in African American communities in the U.S. and Caribbean, as well as working on social and health policy issues throughout my professional career. My current research interests combine anthropology and genealogy.
Hoodoo Medicine: Gullah Herbal Remedies was the first book to fully document and preserve the use of traditional medicines by the Gullah of the Sea Islands. The Gullah have a unique history among African Americans because of their strong legacy of African traditions.
In addition to Hoodoo Medicine, I have co-edited several authoritative reports through the National Academies Press (National Academy of Sciences).
I have a doctorate in Medical Anthropology from the UC Berkeley-UC San Francisco joint program. My dissertation research, which sparked my interest in policy, was on health care (from "bush medicine" to the best doctors) in Jamaica.