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Black and Blue

The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism

John Hoberman (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 304 pages
ISBN: 9780520274013
April 2012
$29.95, £24.00
Other Formats Available:
Black & Blue is the first systematic description of how American doctors think about racial differences and how this kind of thinking affects the treatment of their black patients. The standard studies of medical racism examine past medical abuses of black people and do not address the racially motivated thinking and behaviors of physicians practicing medicine today.

Black & Blue penetrates the physician’s private sphere where racial fantasies and misinformation distort diagnoses and treatments. Doctors have always absorbed the racial stereotypes and folkloric beliefs about racial differences that permeate the general population. Within the world of medicine this racial folklore has infiltrated all of the medical sub-disciplines, from cardiology to gynecology to psychiatry. Doctors have thus imposed white or black racial identities upon every organ system of the human body, along with racial interpretations of black children, the black elderly, the black athlete, black musicality, black pain thresholds, and other aspects of black minds and bodies. The American medical establishment does not readily absorb either historical or current information about medical racism. For this reason, racial enlightenment will not reach medical schools until the current race-aversive curricula include new historical and sociological perspectives.

1. The Nature of Medical Racism: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism
“Avoidance and Evasion”
Judging How Physicians Behave
Judging Physician Conduct: Privacy and the “Halo Effect”
The Oral Tradition
Physicians Share the Racial Attitudes of Their Fellow Citizens
The Medical Liberals

2. Black Patients and White Doctors
The African American Health Calamity: The Silence
Medical Vulnerability and Racial Defamation
How Do (White) Physicians Think About Race?
Evidence of Medical Racism
Resistance to the Critique of Racial Bias In Medicine
Medical Liberalism and the Medical Literature
The Physician’s Private Sphere
Playing Anthropologist
From Racial Folklore to Racial Medicine

3. Medical Consequences of Racializing the Human Organism
Racial Interpretations of Human Types and Traits
Racial Interpretations of Black Infants and Children
Racial Interpretations of the Black Elderly
Racial Interpretations of the Black Athlete
Racial Interpretations of Black Musical Aptitude
Racial Interpretations of Losing Consciousness
Racial Interpretations of the Nervous System
Racial Interpretations of Pain Sensitivity
Racial Interpretations of Heart Disease
Racial Interpretations of Human Organs and Disorders
Racial Interpretations of the Eyes
Racial Interpretations of Black Skin
Racial Interpretations of Human Teeth
Racial Interpretations of “White” and “Black” Disorders
Black “Hardiness”
Physical Hardiness
Emotional Hardiness
Conclusion: How Human Organ Systems Acquire Racial Identities
Racial Folklore In Medical Specialties
A Century of Racial Pharmacology: From Racial Folklore to Racial Genetics
The Role of Racial Folklore In Obstetrics and Gynecology
During the Twentieth Century

4. Medical Apartheid, Internal Colonialism, and the Task of American Psychiatry
“Africanizing” the Black Image
American Psychiatry As Racial Medicine
The Racial Primitive In American Psychiatry
The Task of Black Psychiatry
Colonial Medical Status

5. A Medical School Syllabus On Race
The Doctor-Patient Relationship
The Problem Patient
Medical Authors’ Aversion to Race
Race and Medical Education: the Search For “Cultural Competence”
Two official Versions of “Cultural Competence”
Physicians’ Beliefs About Racial Differences: A (Belated) Study
A Medical Curriculum On Race
Practical Advice For Physicians
Social Class, Misdiagnoses, and Therapeutic Fatalism
“Cultural Competence” As Knowledge of Stereotype Systems
Raceless Humanism: “Medical Humanities” and the Evasion of Difference
Medical Curriculum Change Is Possible: The Case of Abortion Training

John Hoberman is the author of Darwin's Athletes: How Sport Has Damaged Black America, Preserved the Myth of Race, Mortal Engines: The Science of Performance and the Dehumanization of Sport, The Olympic Crisis: Sport, Politics, and the Moral Order, and Sport and Political Ideology.
“This eye-opening work will enable health professionals to face racism in their practices and bring about racial awareness and enlightenment in medical education. It is a pioneering, systematic study of racial issues in medicine/health care. . . . Highly recommended.”—A. Y. Lee, George Mason University Choice
“The book comes at a perfect time. . . . Black & Blue goes where previous studies have not. It is an unapologetic and systematic analysis of how American doctors perceive racial differences and how their opinions determine diagnoses and treatment of their black patients.”—Bill Maxwell Tampa Bay Times
Black and Blue should be required reading for medical students and physicians. It is a passionate read for anyone interested in power inequalities in medicine. . . . Hoberman poses a valid challenge to those who think medical racism is a thing of the past.”—Kim Read, Reference and Instruction Librarian - Clark College SRRT Reviews/
"[Those] who have an interest in the intersection of race and health should be introduced to Hoberman’s comprehensive work on this thorny and important subject."—Annelle B. Primm & Ezra E.H. Griffith American Journal of Psychiatry

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