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Video: Alondra Nelson on the Black Panther Party's radical health activism
March 9, 2014
Alondra Nelson's talk on March 7th was pretty incredible: looking behind the received representations of the Panthers that privilege camera-friendly armed—and often exclusively male—militancy, she explored the incredible story of the Party's committments to a grassroots vision of public health practice. From their community health clinics and scientifically sophisticated efforts to address sickle cell anemia, to their relationship to Fanon's anticolonial work and the way they attempted to construct their own media narrative around medical injustice before and after the Tuskegee revelations, Alondra placed the Panther's work on bringing medical care to their communities in a long subterranean tradition of health activism among black communities in the United States. As she noted, these stories of resistance are key counterpoints to the vital but incomplete narratives of medical oppression to be found in books like Medical Apartheid and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Watch the video now: