Doctoring Freedom: The Politics of African American Medical Care in Slavery and Emancipation

By Gretchen Long, Associate Professor of History and Chair of Africana Studies. University of North Carolina Press, 2012. For enslaved and newly freed African Americans, attaining freedom and citizenship without health for themselves and their families would have been an empty victory. Even before emancipation, African Americans recognized that control of their bodies was a critical battleground in their struggle for autonomy, and they devised strategies to retain at least some of that control. In Doctoring Freedom, Long tells the stories of African Americans who fought for access to both medical care and medical education, showing the important relationship between medical practice and political identity.