"We Heard Healthcare": The Long Black Freedom Struggle as Health Justice

Thumbnail Image


Catchmark_umd_0117E_23550.pdf (1.32 MB)
No. of downloads:

Publication or External Link





In her project, Elizabeth Catchmark traces the ways Black liberation organizers have positioned a guarantee of health as a prerequisite for citizenship since Emancipation. Their challenges to white supremacy named the violence of the state in making Black America sicker and organized communal acts of care to enable their survival in the wake of state neglect. By situating health justice as key to full participation in civic life, these activists refuted a disembodied interpretation of citizenship and offered instead an embodied, capacious vision of racial justice that acknowledges the entanglements of our environments, bodies, and minds. The genealogy Catchmark develops demonstrates that the right to health is a constituent feature of the Black political imagination across the long Black freedom struggle. Ultimately, she finds that Black liberation organizers, through their racial-justice informed theorizations of health and citizenship, illustrate that democracy and health are inextricable from the eradication of white supremacy while offering new ways forward for public policy, racial justice organizing, and interpersonal care.