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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.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Series:||John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Table of Contents
1 When the Slaves Got Sick
Antebellum Medical Practice 11
2 Sickness Rages Fearfully among Them
A Wartime Medical Crisis and Its Implications 44
3 We Have Come Out Like Men
African American Military Medical Care 70
4 We Have Come to a Conclusion to Bind Ourselves Together
African American Associations and Medical Care 90
5 No License; Nor No Deplomer
Regulating Private Medical Practice and Public Space 114
6 By Nature Specially Fitted for the Care of the Sufferer
Black Doctors, Nurses, and Patients after the War 139
What People are Saying About This
Rich and original. Long addresses an important chronological void in the history of African American health and healing while illuminating the extended arc of African American struggles to achieve dignity, autonomy, and citizenship through medical care.Sharla M. Fett, Occidental College
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 questionthe place of African Americans in the changing society.Keith Wailoo, Princeton University