Summary and Info
This is an engrossing study of black disease immunities and susceptibilities and their impact on both slavery and racism. Its pages interweave the nutritional, biological, and medical sciences with demography. The book begins with an examination of the pre-slavery era in Africa and then pursues its subject into the slave societies of the West Indies and the United States. This truly interdisciplinary approach permits the blending of two distinctive concepts of racial differences, that of the hard sciences based on gene frequencies and that of the social sciences stressing environmental factors. The authors investigate black health and white medical practice in the United States during the antebellum period, and establish a link between black-related diseases and white racism. A final section traces major black disease susceptibilities from the Civil War to the present, arguing that the different nutritional and medical needs of blacks are still largely unappreciated or ignored.