Thesis ID: CBB995254049

The City that Care Forgot: Apartheid Health Care, Racial Health Disparity, and Black Health Activism in New Orleans, 1718-2018 (2020)


Marcia Chatelain (Advisor)
McQueeney, Kevin (Author)

Marcia Chatelain
Georgetown University
Publication date: 2020
Language: English

Publication Date: 2020
Physical Details: 385

This work examines the apartheid health care system in New Orleans from the city's founding in 1718 through the present, addressing several research questions. What factors led to the development and perpetuation of the apartheid health care system in New Orleans? What are the connections between apartheid health care and the larger system of racist hierarchy? How has apartheid health care impacted the health of Black residents? How have Black New Orleanians fought against this system and for improved health? This work main's arguments can be summarized as follows. First, apartheid health care emerged as a key component of the slave-based economy, became institutionalized with the end of Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow, and helped support the system of segregation in the Crescent City; sadly, an apartheid health care system still exists today. Second, the medical system served white interests in ways that financially benefitted members of the medical community and both accommodated and supported the prevailing economic system and racist hierarchy from slavery, to Jim Crow, to the post WW-II liberal order of de jure segregation, and into the post-Katrina world of ascendant liberalism. Third, government policies at the local, state, and federal level helped the apartheid health care system grow and sustain. Fourth, within these shifting institutional and power structures, Black New Orleanians fought for access to health care and improved health, including carving out their own health care system, but always had to confront the limits imposed by the racist hierarchy. Ultimately, this work posits that the apartheid health care system's survival was not inevitable. Although many factors facilitated its rise and perpetuation, there were crucial turning points when the apartheid health care system could have ended. These moments occurred in the late 1860s and 70s, the late 1960s and70s, and post-Katrina, when opportunities existed to dismantle, not expand, the apartheid health care system in New Orleans. These opportunities evaporated, but only because individual actors chose to maintain the apartheid health care system.

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Authors & Contributors
Barr, Donald A.
Crawshaw, Jane L. Stevens
Engineer, Urmi
Greenwood, Anna
Lawson, Gordon S.
Majewski, John
Bulletin of the History of Medicine
American Historical Review
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Social History of Medicine
The Journal of African American History
Johns Hopkins University Press
The University of North Carolina Press
University of California, Santa Cruz
New York University
Oxford University Press
Medicine and race
Public health
Health care
Disease and diseases
Yellow fever
Moore, Benjamin
Simpson, William John Ritchie
Cassin, Frieda
Ladoo, Harold Sonny
Kincaid, Jamaica
Deléry, Charles François
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
18th century
20th century, late
20th century, early
United States
New Orleans (Louisiana, U.S.)
Great Britain
North America
United States. Public Health Service
State Medical Services Association (Great Britain)
Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS)

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