Who Needs a Doctor?: The Challenge of National Negro Health Week to the Medical Establishment

Emily  Miranker's picture
March 6, 2018
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Public Health

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many whites believed that African Americans were inherently ill and doomed to extinction. To challenge this stereotype and demonstrate the race’s health, Booker T. Washington launched a public health campaign in 1915: National Negro Health Week. This talk examines the changes in, and challenges to, medical authority and public health in African American communities that the Week caused. The goal is to show how African American definitions of health differed from those of the medical establishment and the implications such differences created for the social control over, and empowerment of, African Americans.

About the Speaker

Paul Braff is a PhD candidate in American History at Temple University whose research focuses on African American history and public health during the twentieth century. He is a Research Fellow at the Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine and he has presented his work at the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, Shanghai University, Johns Hopkins University, and for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.



Tuesday, March 6, 2018



The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029


$12 General Public | $8 Friends, Fellows, Members, Seniors | Free to Students with ID

Contact Info: 

Emily Miranker, MA
Events & Projects Manager

Library and Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health


Contact Email: