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Infectious Fear – Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Infectious Fear: Politics, Disease, and the Health Effects of Segregation

Samuel Kelton Roberts Jr.


For most of the first half of the twentieth century, tuberculosis (TB) ranked among the top three causes of mortality among urban African Americans. Often afflicting an entire family or large segments of a neighborhood, the plague of TB was as mysterious as it was fatal. This book examines how individuals and institutions—black and white, public and private—responded to the challenges of TB in a segregated society. It explains that reactionary white politicians and health officials promoted “racial hygiene” and sought to control TB through Jim Crow quarantines. African Americans, in turn, prot ... More

Keywords: tuberculosis, mortality, African Americans, TB, racial hygiene, Jim Crow quarantines, white plague, health disparities

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780807832592
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014 DOI:10.5149/9780807894071_roberts


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Samuel Kelton Roberts Jr., author