Author

Dillon Prus

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

Janette Greenwood

Abstract

Tuberculosis was one of the deadliest diseases in late nineteenth and early twentieth century America. Those most impacted by the disease were African Americans living in poverty. White public-health authorities interpreted the Black community’s susceptibility to tuberculosis as evidence of their biological inferiority. However, Black physicians, professors, club women, and nurses courageously resisted these racialized notions via academic journals, medical conferences, and periodicals. Black patients being treated in tuberculosis institutions contributed to sanatorium newspapers such as The Thermometer, establishing a voice to express their pain in ways similar to their white counterparts. Remarkably, physicians of color also found ways to care for Black tuberculosis patients with dignity in separate healthcare institutions despite inadequate funding and inferior facilities. By examining the tuberculosis epidemic during the years of 1870 to 1930, this thesis presents the success of members of the Black anti-tuberculosis movement in treating Black tuberculosis patients

Included in

History Commons

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