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Body and SoulThe Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination$
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Alondra Nelson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816676484

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816676484.001.0001

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Spin Doctors

Spin Doctors

The Politics of Sickle Cell Anemia

(p.115) 4. Spin Doctors
Body and Soul

Alondra Nelson

University of Minnesota Press

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.

Keywords:   Black Panther Party, health clinics, sickle cell anemia, African American citizens, healthcare state

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