Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Black Women's Health Activism in America, 1890-1950 / Edition 1

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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired moves beyond the depiction of African Americans as mere recipients of aid or as victims of neglect and highlights the ways black health activists created public health programs and influenced public policy at every opportunity. Smith also sheds new light on the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment by situating it within the context of black public health activity, reminding us that public health work had oppressive as well as progressive consequences.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Susan Smith's book addresses one of the most understudied aspects of African American and American public health and medical history: the emergence of black health activism in the United States. . . . Drawing upon an impressive range of archival sources deposited at historically black colleges, and upon interviews and oral histories, Smith's case studies of the work of black midwives, public health nurses, and sorority women support her argument that black women played a key role in black health reform for much of this century."—Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Explores the gender, class, and political dynamics of one dimension of the black struggle for improved health. Refusing to see black women as passive recipients of aid or victims of neglect, focuses on activists who tried to create public health programs and influence public policy. Evolved from a 1986 doctoral dissertation (U. of Wisconsin-Madison) on black women's public health. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812214499
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1995
  • Series: Studies in Health, Illness, and Caregiving
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 840,215
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction: African Americans, Gender, and Public Health in the South 1
1 Private Crusades for Public Health: Black Club Women and Public Health Work 17
2 Spreading the Gospel of Health: Tuskegee Institute and National Negro Health Week 33
3 A New Deal for Black Health: Community Activism and the Office of Negro Health Work 58
4 Good Intentions and Bad Blood in Alabama: From the Tuskegee Movable School to the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment 85
5 The Public Health Work of Poor Rural Women: Black Midwives in Mississippi 118
6 Sharecroppers and Sorority Women: The Alpha Kappa Alpha Mississippi Health Project 149
Conclusion 168
Notes 171
Bibliography 225
Index 239
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