The health of African Americans is in crisis. The health disparities experienced by this population reflects the intractable problems faced by this community. Poverty, incarceration, housing, unemployment, high drop out rates, obesity, drugs and alcohol are only some of the categories that beset African Americans. This undergraduate seminar will examine the health disparities in the African American population. Why for example are almost all the indices of health disparities highest among African Americans?
The seminar will look at specific areas, each disaggregated by gender and race. Why are gender and race important how do they intersect to impact the current state of health in this community. Is racism an issue in health. Why for example do African Americans enter the health care system essentially at stages of illness too late to intervene and therefore result in higher death rates? How does this reflect the social construction of disease and how is this related to historical experiences like the Tuskegee experiment or the life of Henrietta lax which used Black bodies in a syphilis and cancer experiments experiment without information and permission.
- The highest rates in HIV
- The highest rates in incarceration
- The highest rate of deaths in breast cancer and prostate cancer.
- The Highest rates in infant mortality
In examining the health issues of African American men, how does masculinity determine health status and do apparently non health related epidemics like violence and incarceration directly impact the health of the African American community. How do gender constructions drive the high incidence in infant mortality, breast cancer, Lupus in Black women?
This academic term, we will examine the following:
This seminar will examine these select illnesses affecting this community and interrogate the determinants of this phenomenon in the U.S.
The Tuskegee experiment
- The Life of Henrietta Lax
- Cancers at epidemic level, breast, prostate, colon, lung, etc.
- infant mortality
Students will be required to write short papers on related topics and give presentations using PowerPoint on specific assigned topics exploring the relationship between race, gender and health in America.
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