Throughout American history, prominent black women have confronted the problem of whether to disclose or hide their bodies’ illnesses and pains. For most, the risk of disclosure seemed too great, especially if their physical problems had a sexual or reproductive dimension that could be construed in a racist light by the dominant white American society. This talk confronts the question of how, when, and why prominent black women chose to keep their pain and illness private and explores how their private health experiences directly informed and shaped their activism.
African American Disability
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