Date of Award
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
Prus, Dillon, "“The White Plague Seems to Love the Black Victim:” The Racialization of Tuberculosis in the Anti-Tuberculosis Campaign and Black Resistance to the “Negro Tuberculosis Problem,” 1870- 1930" (2021). History Honors Papers. 2.