Dissertation Abstract

Crucible of Change: Black Health Care in the Urban South, 1910--1954

Publication Number:  AAT3129786
Author:  Pearson, Reggie L.
School:  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Date:  2004
Pages:  268
Subject:  Black History, African Americans

The urbanization of the South led to the deterioration of traditional southern race relations as African Americans moved from the shadow of the plantation to the region's rapidly growing cities. It was in places like places like Birmingham, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia that African Americans struggled to express their freedom and exert their rights as American citizens. In a period that has been characterized as the "nadir" of American race relations African Americans had to carefully select the setting in which they voiced their desire for equal treatment. During the Jim Crow Era health care was one of the settings where African Americans found they could demonstrate their concern without fear of violent reprisals. Within this setting African Americans began displaying an attitude of resistance to discrimination and entitlement to equal treatment that was similar to the demands that they would make during the Civil Rights Movement. Rather that being a study of how black medical needs were addressed during the Jim Crow period, this is a story of race, class, disease, struggle, and human interactions that occurred during what was arguably the most racially segregated period in American history.

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