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Health humanities and nature-based therapies: Black History Month Resources

This guide serves as a resource site for materials concerning health humanities, and nature therapy

Recommended general readings

List of recommended readings- it includes a few secondary historical sources but consists largely of memoirs, novels, and writings arranged chronologically to record points in the ongoing story of Black people in America:

  1. Narratives of enslaved people: Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861) and/or  Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. (1845)
  2. Charles W. Chestnutt. The Marrow of Tradition. (1901)
  3. W. E. B. DuBois. The Souls of Black Folk. (1903)
  4. James Weldon Johnson. The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. (1912)
  5. Langston Hughes.  The Weary Blues. (1925)
  6. Zora Neale Hurston. Mules and Men. (1935)
  7. Richard Wright. Black Boy. (1945)
  8. Ralph Ellison. The Invisible Man. (1952)
  9. James Baldwin. Go Tell It on the Mountain. (1953)
  10. Amiri Baraka. Blues people: Negro Music in America. (1963)
  11. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. (1965)
  12. Maya Angelou. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. (1969)
  13. Toni Morrison. The Bluest Eye. (1970)
  14. Ntozake Shange. For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf. (1975)
  15. Alex Haley. Roots. (1976)
  16. Mildred D. Taylor. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. (1977)
  17. Octavia Butler. Kindred. (1979)
  18. Akasha Hull, Patricia Bell-Scott, and Barbara Smith. But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women's Studies. (1982)
  19. Alice Walker. The Color Purple. (1983)
  20. Audre Lorde. Sister Outsider. (1984)
  21. Assata Shakur. Assata: An Autobiography. (1987)
  22. E. Lynn Harris. Invisible Life (1991)
  23. Samuel A. Floyd Jr. The Power of Black Music: Interpreting Its History from Africa to the United States. (1995)
  24. Sharla M. Fett. Working Cures: Healing, Health, and Power on Southern Slave Plantations. (2000)
  25. Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. The Gift of Southern Cooking. (2003)
  26. Camille Dungy. Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry. (2009)
  27. Michelle Alexander. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. (2010)
  28. Carolyn Finney. Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. (2014)
  29. Angela Davis. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement. (2015)
  30. Colson Whitehead. The Underground Railroad. (2016)
  31. Lauret Savoy. Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape. (2016)
  32. Ibram Kendi. Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. (2016)
  33. Michael Twitty. The Cooking Gene. (2017)
  34. J. Drew Lanham. The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature. (2017)
  35. Keah Brown. On Life, Pop Culture, Disability and Other Reasons to Fall in Love with Me. (2019)
  36. Ibram Kendi (ed). Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019. (2021)

This list includes a range of works exploring black history, literature, culture, food, music, and relationships to the environment.  Of course it is limited and doesn’t include everything or everyone it could or should.  Feel free to create a list that speaks to you and your interests.

Important must reads

Race and Research

Ideas of race and racial ideology

Fredrickson, G. M. 1987. The Black Image in the White Mind. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Smedley, A. 1993 (1999). Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview. Boulder: Westview Press.

Stepan, Nancy. 1982. The Idea of Race in Science. London: Macmillan.

Lists of recommended readings from other sources

Below are other lists that may include a wider range of materials.

Rutgers University African American Graduate Reading List (this one includes a number of historical works:)

Lists from other sources (these do include include novels):

Recommended by Henry Louis Gates, Jr

From Black Enterprise

From Elle

From Shondaland

From Good Housekeeping

Recommended movies

Daughters of the Dust (1991) Directed by Julie Dash 

Hidden Figures (2016) Directed by Theodore Melfi

Eve's Bayou (1997) Directed by Kasi Lemmons

Talk to Me (2007) Directed by Kasi Lemmons

Harriet (2019) Directed by Kasi Lemmons

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) Directed by George C. Wolfe

Malcolm X (1992) Directed by Spike Lee

Red Hook Summer (2012) (and the other films in the Chronicles of Brooklyn) Directed by Spike Lee

BlackkKlansmen (2018) Directed by Spike Lee

Fruitvale Station (2013) Directed by Ryan Coogler

Black Panther (2018) Directed by Ryan Coogler

History of Developing Health Systems in the Americas

African Americans, Black people and Healthcare in America

As the attached presentation shows, black people in America have had a long history of providing healthcare for the community and working to gain more influence and serve more effectively through participation in organized medicine.

History of African American Health Care Providers

University of Florida Home Page

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