Racial Justice, Health, and History

Online Exhibition

Documenting Durham's Health History: Understanding the Roots of Health Disparities in the City of Medicine - exhibition

Recent Duke Lecture Recordings

Duke Hospital's Racial History: The Maltheus Avery Incident - Dermatology Grand Rounds, Sept 2022 - recording

Aaron McDuffie Moore, MD: The Story of Durham's First Black Physician and Founder of Lincoln Hospital - a conversation between C. Eileen Watts Welch, Blake Hill-Saya, and Damon Tweedy, MD about the impact of the life of Dr. Aaron McDuffie Moore (1863-1923) on the health of Durham’s Black residents. - recording

Dismantling Jim Crow: Understanding Duke's Long Road to Maternal Justice - a talk by Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD given at Duke OB/GYN Grand Rounds (Duke login required) - recording

Remembering a 1979 Moral Moment: Medical Activists, Racial Justice, and Confronting the KKK - Survivors of what became known as the 1979 Greensboro Massacre share why this story is worth remembering, and why it remains relevant to health and racial justice activism today. - recording

Duke Hospital’s History: A Conversation about Race and Memory, a conversation with Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD and Damon Tweedy, MD - recording

The View from Durham: A Social History of Duke Hospital, a talk by Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD given at Duke Psychiatry Grand Rounds (Duke login required) - recording

Race and Reproduction: Eugenic Sterilization Revisited, a talk by Johanna Schoen, PhD given in Boyarsky Series on Race & Health - recording

Forgotten Voices: Confronting Duke Hospital's Racial Past, a talk by Jeffrey Baker, MD, PhD given at Duke Medicine Grand Rounds - recording


Readings and Resources

DUMC Archives has an excellent page on Black History at Duke Health, including videos, interviews, oral histories. Click here.

Bull City 150 is a documentary project exploring how Durham’s current inequities are rooted in its history. Its website features a very engaging on-line exhibit on the history of housing in Durham:

Durham: A Self-Portrait.  Well-done historical documentary directed by Steve Channing.

Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South (UNC Press, 2007).  Tells the story of Durham’s history through two individuals, one a civil rights activist and the other a Klan leader, who against all odds came to recognize their commonalities and became friends. If you want to read one book about the complex interplay of race and social class in Durham), this might be it.  Don’t bother with the movie.

Walter Campbell, Foundations for Excellence: 75 Years of Duke Medicine. (Duke University Press, 2006).  Best overall history of Duke School of Medicine and Hospital.

Scott Ellsworth, The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph (Little Brown, 2015). The story of a “secret” game between the Duke School of Medicine squad and the NC Central groundbreaking team,  set against the history of Duke and Durham in the Jim Crow Era.

Edward C. Halperin, “A Solitary Act in the Bell Building: Striking a Blow for Racial Desegregation at a Southern Medical School,” The Pharos (Spring 2007): 48-51. Account of the Bell Building controversy by former Dean of Medical Education at Duke.

John Hamilton, A History of Infectious Disease At Duke School of Medicine.  Important for HIV, TB.

Ralph Snynderman, A Chancellor’s Tale,  Account of Duke Heath in 1990s that has much related to Durham and race.

Blake Hill-Saya, Aaron McDuffie Moore: An African American Physician, Educator, and Founder of Durham’s Black Wall Street (UNC Press, 2020). New biography of founder of Lincoln Hospital.

David Barton Smith, The Power to Heal: Civil Rights, Medicare, and The Struggle to Transform America’s Health Care System (Vanderbilt Press, 2016). Good account of history of hospital desegregation. Durham appears; Greensboro plays prominent role.

Spencie Love, One Blood:  The Death and Resurrection of Dr Charles Drew (UNC Press, 1996). Lively telling of the truth and mythology surrounding the dead of the great African American blood bank pioneer in Alamance County in the early 1950s. Duke Hospital plays a role in this story.

Timothy Tyson, Blood Done Signed my Name: A True Story of Race and Redemption in the South (Three Rivers Press, 2004). Thoughtful exploration of a shooting in nearby Oxford, NC that explores the history of race relations in North Carolina, with significant attention given to the Wilmington “race riot” of 1918.