Tag Archives: race

Movie review: Pressure Point – treating the hateful patient

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “You sing ‘My country ’tis of thee’ while they walk all over you.” — The patient, Pressure Point   German American Bund rally (1938 or 1939). From “Battle of the United States”, produced by Army Information Branch, Army Pictorial Service, Air Forces, and Navy Department in cooperation with all united […]

Movie review: No Way Out

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A lumbar puncture being performed. Brainhell, 2006. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. The more things change, the more they stay the same. – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1808–1890)   No Way Out is a 1950 movie about medicine and racism that deserves more attention than it has received. The story takes […]

Rudolf Virchow and the anthropology of race

Friedrich C. Luft Detlev Ganten Berlin, Germany   Fig. 1. Rudolf Virchow as anthropologist. Portrait by Hanns Fechner (1891). Rudolf Virchow, born in 1821, was arguably the most important German physician, biologist, social scientist, and anthropologist of the nineteenth century. His establishment of cellular pathology is known by all and his comment that “politics is […]

Blood policies and bioart in the 1900s

Christopher Hubbard Ohio, United States   Image titled The Army Blood Transfusion Service Needs Blood Donors. Image located from the Digital Public Library of America. Rights: unrestricted. Policies related to blood that were adopted in the U.S. during the early to mid-1900s produced cultural and legal effects for certain populations. In 1920, for example, the […]

Bleeding science dry: the history of scientific racism and blood

Matthew Casas Kansas City, United States   Help the Red Cross. U.S. Food Administration. Educational Division. Advertising Section. 1917 – 1919. National Archives Catalog, identifier 512661. One might be familiar with the expression “We All Bleed Red.” But what exactly does blood have to say about our “humanity”? Ripe with good intention, the aforementioned mantra […]

Dr. Rebecca Cole and racial health disparities in nineteenth-century Philadelphia

Meg Vigil-Fowler Grand Junction, Colorado   The anatomy lecture room at the Woman’s Medical College of New York Infirmary. Published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.  April 16, 1870. Library of Congress. From the beginning of black women’s professional involvement in medicine, public health marked a central component of the scope of their practice. Rebecca Cole, […]

Drug war or race war? Effects of illegal drug distribution in the African-American community

Denise Powell San Francisco, California, United States   Bernard Noble and daughter “Cajun cook got 13 years for two joints.” Photo from The Clemency Report I also don’t believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn’t do that kind of business. Somebody comes to them and says, “I have powders. […]

Rachel Fleming and the non-reality of “racial types”

Barry Bogin United Kingdom   Human “races” as depicted in the 19th century Nordisk familjebok  (Nordic Family Book Encyclopedia). Each person in the painting depicts one “race” of Asiatic people. Today, anthropologists and biologist reject such “race” categorization. The differences between human groups are better ascribed to biological plasticity. During the early twentieth century several […]

“Mississippi Appendectomy” and other stories: when silence is complicity

Alida Rol Eugene, Oregon, United States    Patient on the Table, 2017. Watercolor by Alida Rol, private collection. The world moves fast and it would rather pass u by than 2 stop and c what makes u cry. – Tupac Shakur, “The Rose That Grew from Concrete”   She sits perched on the exam table in a […]

Black man, white coat

Yeji Lee Toronto, Canada There is a fine line between prejudice and experience, and it is a line that grows all the more important for someone who is a doctor. In his memoir, Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine, Dr. Damon Tweedy ushers his readers through his years […]