The Politics of Sickle Cell Anemia
This chapter describes the Black Panther Party’s health clinics that became bases of operation for the sickle cell anemia campaign. It details the Black Panther’s efforts to highlight the problem of sickle cell anemia, which is an incurable and fatal genetic disease that depletes the red blood cell’s ability to circulate oxygen through the body. The sickle cell anemia campaign, launched in 1971, was both a practical and ideological response to the deliberate and malicious neglect of African American citizens by the healthcare state. The Black Panther established their own genetic screening programs, initiated health education outreach, and disseminated information about the disease to black communities through the newspaper Black Panther and other media outlets.
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