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Black and Blue

The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism

John Hoberman


List Price: 29.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/3/2012)


Black & Blue is the first systematic description of how American doctors think about racial differences and how this kind of thinking affects the treatment of their black patients. The standard studies of medical racism examine past medical abuses of black people and do not address the racially motivated thinking and behaviors of physicians practicing medicine today.

Black & Blue penetrates the physician’s private sphere where racial fantasies and misinformation distort diagnoses and treatments. Doctors have always absorbed the racial stereotypes and folkloric beliefs about racial differences that permeate the general population. Within the world of medicine this racial folklore has infiltrated all of the medical sub-disciplines, from cardiology to gynecology to psychiatry. Doctors have thus imposed white or black racial identities upon every organ system of the human body, along with racial interpretations of black children, the black elderly, the black athlete, black musicality, black pain thresholds, and other aspects of black minds and bodies. The American medical establishment does not readily absorb either historical or current information about medical racism. For this reason, racial enlightenment will not reach medical schools until the current race-aversive curricula include new historical and sociological perspectives.

Praise For Black and Blue: The Origins and Consequences of Medical Racism

“This eye-opening work will enable health professionals to face racism in their practices and bring about racial awareness and enlightenment in medical education. It is a pioneering, systematic study of racial issues in medicine/health care. . . . Highly recommended.”


Black and Blue goes where previous studies have not. It is an unapologetic and systematic analysis of how American doctors perceive racial differences and how their opinions determine diagnoses and treatment of their black patients.”

— Tampa Bay Times

"[Those] who have an interest in the intersection of race and health should be introduced to Hoberman’s comprehensive work on this thorny and important subject."

— American Journal of Psychiatry

University of California Press, 9780520274013, 304pp.

Publication Date: April 3, 2012

About the Author

John Hoberman is a social and medical historian at the University of Texas at Austin, and the author of Darwin's Athletes: How Sport Has Damaged Black America, The Olympic Crisis: Sport, Politics, and the Moral Order, and Sport and Political Ideology.