Colin's Reviews > Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination

Body and Soul by Alondra Nelson
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's review
Apr 15, 12

bookshelves: activisms, antiracism, disabilitystudies, culturalstudies, history, non-fiction, marxism
Read from April 04 to 15, 2012

This book was pretty fucking awesome; I'd say it's required reading for people interested in Disability Studies, health activists, and people working as health professionals. Nelson details the BPP's multi-pronged approach to health activism, citing the profound influence of Fanon's critiques of psychiatry as a colonial weapon in The Wretched of the Earth. She explores the formation of the Free People's Health Clinics as the main framework of their health efforts, analyzes their grassroots campaign about Sickle Cell Anemia and its subsequent co-optation by the state, and details the successful campaign against an "Anti-Violence Research Center" at UCLA that came from a broad coaltion of activists and subsequent action at the legislative level. At times it was a bit repetitive because of the academic writing style, but all in all, it's a pivotal and much-needed work. YAY.
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