Today Blacks live five to seven fewer years than Whites. Black infant mortality is 2.2 times that of Whites. Blacks lead in death rates in 14 of 16 leading diseases, many preventable. Diabetes is 33% more common in Blacks, and cancer mortality has increased 50% for Blacks since 1950 but only 10% for Whites. Breakthroughs such as vaccinations, invasive cardiac procedures, cancer therapies, MRIs, and organ transplants have dramatically improved the health of Americans in the last century, but health care for African Americans has been dangerously deficient, even unavailable.
An American Health Dilemma is the first comprehensive effort to place African Americans'deficit health in its full socio-cultural context. In the highly anticipated volume two, Byrd and Clayton complete the story begun in the first Pulitzer Prize nominated volume, bringing us from the turn of the century to the health care disparities that persist even now.
Backed by exhaustive research, Byrd and Clayton argue thatrace- and class-based inequities, bias, and inequalities are systemic, culturally embedded problems that in the last hundred years have been marked by small gains, disastrous setbacks, and a passive acceptance of African Americans, and other disadvantaged groups, as a permanent health underclass. Even gains made in the 1960s, they maintain, didn't do enough to advance the health care of African Americans.
A monumental and original work of scholarship, An American Health Dilemma will be the essential reference about the Black medical and health experience for years to come.
At last! A must to be included in the teaching curricula of all medical and public health schools.