Anne Pollock, "Sickening: Anti-Black Racism and Health Disparities in the United States" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

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An event-by-event look at how institutionalized racism harms the health of African Americans in the twenty-first century A crucial component of anti-Black racism is the unconscionable disparity in health outcomes between Black and white Americans. Sickening: Anti-Black Racism and Health Disparities in the United States (U Minnesota Press, 2021) examines this institutionalized inequality through dramatic, concrete events from the past two decades, revealing how unequal living conditions and inadequate medical care have become routine. From the spike in chronic disease after Hurricane Katrina to the lack of protection for Black residents during the Flint water crisis--and even the life-threatening childbirth experience for tennis star Serena Williams--author Anne Pollock takes readers on a journey through the diversity of anti-Black racism operating in healthcare. She goes beneath the surface to deconstruct the structures that make these events possible, including mass incarceration, police brutality, and the hypervisibility of Black athletes' bodies. Ultimately, Sickening shows what these shocking events reveal about the everyday racialization of health in the United States. Concluding with a vital examination of racialized healthcare during the COVID pandemic and the Black Lives Matter rebellions of 2020, Sickening cuts through the mind-numbing statistics to vividly portray healthcare inequalities. In a gripping and passionate style, Pollock shows the devastating reality and consequences of systemic racism on the lives and health of Black Americans.

Claire Clark is a medical educator, historian of medicine, and associate professor in the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine. She teaches and writes about health behavior in historical context.

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