Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute Forums 2020 BHLI Cohort Engagement From Separate to Equal and The 1619 Project

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  • Montoya_Collins
    Moderator
    Post count: 1

    From Separate to Equal
    By Wednesday, May 27 at 11:59 pm

    a) Please describe the emotions you felt while viewing the documentary.

    b) State what language or attitudes of those featured in the documentary were most profound to you. Please note there are no right or wrong answers/responses to this prompt.

    2. The 1619 Project
    By Wednesday, May 27 at 11:59 pm

    a) Please describe the emotions you felt while reading the document.

    b) State what language or attitudes were most profound to you. Please note there are no right or wrong answers/responses to this prompt.

    3. From Separate to Equal and The 1619 Project
    By Wednesday, June 3 at 11:59 pm.

    Please submit your thoughtful responses to two of the questions below. Responses should demonstrate that you have viewed From Separate to Equal and read The 1619 Project in their entireties with thoughtful reflection to the questions posed. Outside resources may be reviewed, considered, and cited throughout your responses.

    a) Should hospitals and healthcare facilities make a concerted effort to employ ex-prisoners? Why? What might be some of the constraints? Has anyone been successful at such a hiring practice?

    b) Can you draw a distinction between equality & equity with regards to healthcare? How do elements of From Separate to Equal and The1619 Project exacerbate the issues? What are the solutions?

    c) The 1619 Project made reference to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (Bureau of Freedmen). What other 2-3 federal healthcare related policies have been enacted by the U.S. government since 1865 to 2010? Which of those policies have been most successful?

    d) If one reviews co-morbidities of chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity, etc.) and their associated mortality rates across the 50 United States – to what conclusions can one come? What social-economic determinants are driving those situations?

    e) How do the stories and research that supported slavery mentioned in The 1619 Project tie to health related issues for African-Americans today? Do you think matters of wealth, income, land ownership and access to credit play a role in healthy/unhealthy communities? What advantage/disadvantage do payday cash stores play in today’s society?

    4. Please feel free to respond appropriately to your colleagues’ responses through Tuesday, June 9.

    Cynthia_Cargill
    Moderator
    Post count: 1

    Thank you, 2020 Cohort, for your emotional responses to the reading of The 1619 Project by Wednesday, May 27 at 11:59 pm.

    Thank you, too, for your thoughtful responses to the two questions you chose to answer by Wednesday, June 3 at 11:59 pm. Feel free to respond to your collegaues’s repsonses through Tuesday, June 9.

    Mariah_Smith
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    “From Separate to Equal” Response
    a) One cannot have an intellectually honest conversation on the history of healthcare in America without discussing the treatment of black Americans. To this day, black people are skeptical of medical professionals due to the way that their ancestors were treated. A space had to be made specifically for non-white doctors, nurses, and patients. The concentration on Kansas City specifically really added relevance to the documentary as it pertains to the Institute. Segregation was heavily enforced there, yet the black hospital in the city had to serve white patients as well. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride in the accomplishments of those who came before me. I have heard about atrocities doctors have committed to enslaved people, but I was able to learn so much more about the industry post-slavery.
    b) The attitude of intolerance stood out most to me, specifically with the General hospital #2 when the black interns were said to “fail” a test but when re-graded (without race disclosed) they all passed. It is extremely difficult to thrive in a system where all cards are stacked against you. However, it was interesting how a speaker cited segregation as the reason why African Americans were able to strive for greatness in the medical industry. It was said that segregation caused black people to strive for higher positions rather than simply remain content with positions white corporations allowed them to have. I was not, however, surprised by the positivity exhibited by the black doctors of the time despite hardship.

    Mariah_Smith
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    1619 Project Response
    a) When reading the 1619 Project magazine, I felt enlightened and empowered. Nikole Hannah-Jones expertly highlighted the severity and impact of slavery, while connecting the industry to cultural pride. Many black Americans are frowned upon for having pride in their country even though America would not be a global power without their labor. It was refreshing to see the commentary on Lincoln and his aversion to black equality. Historically, Abraham Lincoln is regarded as a champion of black rights which is not a complete truth.
    b) It was mentioned that black people were viewed as an obstacle to national unity, which I found quite profound. The second black people could not be used for free labor, they were regarded as a burden. The blunt language used stood out to me because it is essential to clearly outline the horrors of racism in plain language. It was notable that Ms. Hannah-Jones’ attitude shifted from “shame” to pride in the flag and her country as she gained more knowledge.

    Taylor_Hamilton
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    After Viewing “From Separate to Equal, The Creation of Truman Medical Center” I felt very motivated to continue my journey of becoming a black nurse. Throughout the film there were things that made me upset because they were just plain wrong and were done solely because of racism. The things that stood out to me the most was when the black physicians were failed by the white physicians just because of their race, also it was very upsetting when the African Americans were told they couldn’t do certain things just because they did not have the skills because they were black. The attitudes towards the blacks wanting to better themselves and help their community were most profound to me and it sadden me a great deal. This is clearly still a great problem today as we rarely see black nurses and it is even more rare for one to come across a black doctor, in fact I have never personally have had either. This means to me that there are still roadblocks in the system, and it is important that we overcome these roadblocks to have more blacks in our healthcare system. Currently working as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant, I know the difference it makes to the patient when they are a person of color having a person of color provide care to them. On multiple occasions when I have taken care of patients of color the have stated that I have made them feel more comfortable and secure in their healing process. Overall the things that the African Americans had to go through in the video did not come as an surprise to me but it did motivate me to work harder and to continue to go as far as I can in my career because of the hard work and dedication those individuals went and paved the way in order to try to save our race.

    Lauren_Winston
    Participant
    Post count: 6

    From Separate to Equal Response
    After watching the video, I was surprised to learn more about the black experience past the effects of housing discrimination or the development of 18th and Vine. Through the preservation of racial discrimination within the history of healthcare in Kansas City are stories of perseverance and community that triumph through greed, hate, and illogical thinking. The story of the Truman Medical Center tells a series of pivotal moments within the Kansas City area while contributing to the ongoing discussion about the impact of politics on healthcare.

    Along with the many components of healthcare, a patient’s confidence within their system is a significant determinant of how effective services can be in providing for a community. The black community’s experience with a healthcare system controlled by white people put black people in a vulnerable position as a patient. Trusting a white system with one’s black body has been a risk due to the history of devaluing the worth of a black person’s life. However, the production of black health practitioners by Howard and Meharry Medical College brought hope to black communities and opportunities for black scholars.

    While segregated hospitals developed in Kansas City the stories shared from General Hospital #2 reminded me of the stability needed in order to continue promoting change. The strong sense of community that existed among the staff was evident in the ways that they referred to their black colleagues as older brothers or mothers. Segregation within the healthcare system allowed for a strong and caring black community to emerge. It allowed patients to feel comfortable, safe, and inspired within this environment. Even though the staff of General Hospital #2 had to work with minimum resources, however, they were determined to provide their patients with the highest level of quality care that they could.

    A few of the stories that irked me were the initial barring of black staff at General Hospital #2 and the presence of jail cells being established in General Hospital #2. The decision to prevent black staff from working at General Hospital #2 was argued as a point of racial inferiority due to intellectual incapability of serving as a nurse or doctor. In reality, it was not out of concern of the quality of care the minority person would receive, instead, it was out of fear of black people proving that they could rise to a similar position of intellectual power as a white man. Secondly, the presence of jail cells within the General Hospital #2, further promotes the criminalization of minority groups even in a space of healing. It elevates the superiority and benevolence of white people while expressing a political message that the lives of minority groups and people who have committed a crime are worth less than that of a white citizen.

    All in all, I feel as though the health system within Kansas City demonstrates how healthcare has developed over time. However, it is also an example supporting the need to push for improving the quality of care for minority groups and underserved communities throughout America.

    Lauren_Winston
    Participant
    Post count: 6

    The 1619 Project Response
    After reading The 1619 Project I felt as though many times throughout the reading I was troubled or disgusted by the vivid stories that were told about the cruel nature of America’s history. The feelings of pain and suffering alongside perseverance and hope within this work were encapsulated within the various stories told about the past and the present. Overall, this project was a story that highlights the push towards agency and claiming the black experience as an African American.

    The idea of freedom was one of the most prominent concepts I found throughout the magazine. The most basic ideology that America was supposedly built on has only begun to flourish because of the suffering of black Americans. Whether it is in relation to the building America’s physical, economic, or social constructions they all have their roots in slavery. These are the ties that restrict America’s progression as hegemony continues to covertly perpetuate the basic ideals of oppression into modern times.

    There is a continual fight within America’s society to perpetually deny the rights of minorities and black Americans specifically. This is because the founding vision for America was not to live in a society of equals, instead it was to acquire power amongst others. The division of racial groups within America allowed for an easy way to allocate various levels of power to masses of people. For centuries an attitude of blaming a group of people rather than the mindset of superiority within America has had grave consequences carried throughout modern times. I even found a passage within this magazine that inspired me to post on social media relating to the recent attacks on innocent black men and women regarding how Americans choose to “ignore the victimization of black people tagged as criminal.”

    As this project states that “American capitalism was founded on the lowest road there is” and points out how America has the highest rate of incarceration worldwide, in order to extend dehumanizing practices, reflects how covert methods of systematic racism can be found in any American institution. In regard to the healthcare system, the claiming and protection of the black mind and body has yet to be achieved in the health policy and practices. Since the healthcare system consists of not only providers and patients, but also purchasers, payers, and policymakers it allows for the practice of covert racism through implicit bias or exclusionary thinking. These are critical to recognize in order to improve the care of black and minority populations. I believe that these multiple contributors to healthcare practices also allow for openings of opportunity. As representation in each of these branches increases and social awareness is gained about American society, there can be opportunities for reform and adequate care of minority and black populations within the healthcare system.

    Whitney_Williams
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    1619 Project Response

    When reading The 1619 Project, I felt enlightened and more informed about the history of healthcare in the United States. As an aspiring healthcare lawyer and social advocate, I believe politics and history play an important role in understanding equity and equality in the United States. While reading the 1619 Project, I was especially intrigued to learn more about the origins of Universal Health Care. After the Civil War, smallpox and other health disparities constantly plagued the black community. Even though white officials knew how to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases, they refused to intervene as they feared healthy African Americans would destroy the racial hierarchy. This belief allowed government officials and white authority to manipulate policies like the Hill-Burton Act and Fair Labor Standards Act, taking away much needed support and funds from the African American community. This attitude of hatred and blatant disregard of human life was most profound to me as the color of one’s skin was the sole determinant of their value. In my opinion, this historical truth intensifies the necessity for Universal Healthcare in the United States as it is the only way to protect black life truly. As a future lawyer, is it my responsibility to understand precedents, law, and past historical support events so I may effectively advocate for the African American community and beyond.

    Carlos_Silva
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    From Separate to Equal Response:

    a) The first emotions that came to my mind while watching the documentary were a mixture of anger and shame of our society. Anger at the fact that such blatant racism existed in the not-so-distant past and shame at the fact that, even tho events such as the ones in the documentary took place not even a generation ago, this major part of our history is often hidden and rarely incorporated into our educational system’s curriculums and conversations. However, the more I watched and heard from interviewees, the more pride I felt in the astonishing adversity that was overcome by this city’s black and other minority doctors and for the legacy that they were able to establish.
    b) What really stuck out to me was the confidence with which doctors that went through this experience spoke with. Despite all the cards being stacked against them, not one spoke with tones of victimization. This attitude of strength and courage is imperative to have in an environment in which society, not only expects you to fail, but also works against you. Anecdotes, such as the one in which the black medical student had to pose as a janitor in order to spectate surgical operations, are a source of great inspiration that depict a people that are willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead and beat the system.

    The 1619 Project Response:

    a) Although it was difficult to read about the atrocities committed by the people of this country to its own people, it is strengthening to see how, in many aspects, times have changed. It was very empowering to read about descendants of slaves who graduated from law schools and now hold the power to fight the very laws and attitudes that once enchained them. The more educated we are, the more effectively we will be able to fight the hate produced by ignorance.
    b) When reading about this country’s history, whether it be in this magazine or in general, I always feel a strong sense of hypocrisy. When I was in elementary school, I attended a predominantly white school. During these years, our minds are easily shaped and morphed by teachers and what they tell us. In my school and in many, if not almost all, we are taught of how great the ideals of our founding fathers are, those being justice and equality. And it is almost always taught in a way that never paints any sort of negative picture around that. Even in high-school, I remember spending less than a week on the topic of slavery and the effect it had on the African-American community after its abolition, yet we would spend weeks and months learning about how our country was shaped by the accomplishments of white politicians, entrepreneurs, and authors.

    Miniya_Williams
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    From Separate to Equal

    a) While viewing the documentary From Separate to Equal, I was pleasantly surprised by the deep enriched history of philanthropy, resilience, and unprecedented vision. I was very much reminded of many different historical examples of our ancestors “making a way out of no way” for the betterment of their community. This was my first introduction to the healthcare aspect of community resilience and I was very intrigued to learn more. My emotions could best be described as excitement and curiosity. Hearing the trials and tribulations and the lack of regard for black bodies (which we still see today) made me sad. However, the grit, creativity, and intelligence of names like Unthank, Thompson, and Perry made me proud. This documentary served as a reminder and personal motivation to continue on this fight for equitable healthcare in low-income/black and brown communities. When I feel like all the odds are against me, I can refer back to the history of health care in Kansas City. The story of General Hospital #2 goes to serve as representation progress and the room for progress that still prevails.

    b) The attitudes of pliability that those featured in the documentary displayed was most profound to me. During a time of limitations, blatant disregard, and racial divide it amazed me at the progression of black health care and the community. This all goes back to philanthropy, resilience, and unprecedented vision. One thing mentioned was that segregation allowed black people to strive for flourishment in the medical system and in life. Segregation was said to serve almost as a motivation. I would like to add my own suggested elevations which places segregation as a positive informant for the flourishment of black communities. It allowed us to establish our own self sustaining communities that were made for us and by us. This eliminates racial motivation and divides that we still see today within the medical, food, and other industries that we need to survive. When we had no other options we were able to see what we could really do as a community and the positive effect that we could have despite adversities.

    Arrington_Ervin
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    Throughout my academic career, I have yet to encounter such a worthwhile text like that of The 1619 Project. This article was truly amazing taking the stories of the past, relating them to the social conflicts of today, while predicting future outcomes based on previous events. After reading, I could feel nothing but pride and gratitude towards my black ancestors who went through gruesome hardships so that I may possess opportunities that they themselves only dreamed of. However, the actions of certain white Americans and the government, modeled after their beliefs, leave me concerned for the well-being of myself as a black individual, along with any other minority groups currently living in the United States. Reading stories like that of the Bolling Family and Greenwood, Oklahoma provided great examples of the potential success black people can have in society. Buddy Bolling, an innovative entrepreneur who reinvented white industries into respectfully black-owned businesses that did not require slavery, and Greenwood, a neighborhood full of some of the most successful black people in the country at the time, shared one common element; neither parties experienced a happy ending. Due to the hatred and jealousy of some white Americans, Bolling and Greenwood were met with gruesome endings, leaving each one of them with nothing to spare. The 1619 Project allowed me to ponder the fact that “our” Founding Fathers and “our” Constitution and “our” government had no intention of allowing black people to become full fledged American citizens. In all honesty, black people have separate Founding Fathers and Mothers who fought and died solely for the betterment of our race. In the United States, black people began at the bottom and “our” Founding Fathers and their governmental system try to keep us there to this day.

    The From Separate to Equal documentary about the origin of Truman Medical Center was an intriguing watch. During my viewing of the project, I felt nothing but admiration for the black healthcare officials who showed no hesitation to stray from the status quo and become licensed doctors, nurses, and administrators; in addition, I experienced surges of anticipation while waiting for the black healthcare officials to be completely accepted into the medical field, as equals to their white counterparts. Along with other professions, it took many years for black doctors and nurses to be respected as officials. But, even with their licenses, black healthcare officials faced segregation, being forced to work in poorer conditions than that of white Americans. Individuals, like Dr. Thomas Unthank, Dr. S.H. Thompson, Dr. John Perry, and many more, worked in the “separate but equal” facilities, utilizing their wits and any other resources that may not have been provided in order to better the lives of the black, KCMO residents. With the different black-owned hospitals and medical houses popping up all over the city, I still find it astonishing that so many of them had gone under before the creation of Truman Medical Center. Many centers went out of business during the video, but it was unclear why.

    Bryant_Dean
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    From Separate to Equal Response:

    Among many thoughts and feelings I had while watching this video, sadness and inspiration were two that really stood out to me. While hearing of events such as the incident with W.E.B. Du Bois’ son who couldn’t get treatment at Atlanta University to the various oppressive acts against blacks in the healthcare system saddened me a bit. It serves as a parallel to some of the things that are still happening within our modern-day healthcare system. It shows us that while we have made such amazing strides towards the goals that we have achieved as people, we still have much to go. And that revelation gave me the inspiration to carry on the legacy of hard work and revolution that the people before me have been pioneers for up until this point. It encourages me to build upon their towers of achievement so that I can do the same for the generation after me.

    What was most profound were a few words by Charles Hammer when he was referring to the lack of black obituaries being run by the Kansas City Star. He said, “Black people didn’t die, they just vanished”. This statement really paints a picture of how whites thought about how expendable and valueless black people were. It was dehumanizing to think that the deaths of African Americans were shrugged off like the killing of an insect.

    The 1969 Project Response:

    To be honest, some of the excerpts from the reading made me feel a small sense of anger. Just to read the type of things that happened to some of those people really makes you want to get out and take action against the systems that continue to keep us down.

    The attitude behind slavery being just a business to people is what was so profound to me. It goes back to the sentiment I had before about black people being treated like objects that they can just sell and trade as they please.

    Miniya_Williams
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    (a) While reading the document The 1619 Project, I experienced a variety of emotions that both lifted my spirits and saddened me as well. The themes of resilience and progression uplifted me while the torment, brutalization, and loss left me puzzled and sad. I think what got me most was the timelines of abuse from enslavement to modern-day slavery and all that lies in between. The social, mental, physical, cultural, and economic oppression that has lingered as a residual of greed (capitalism) and malice. As policy began to shift in name and title, oppression still remains and provides further room for improvement. With regard to healthcare one thing that stuck with me the most was the false belief of physical racial differences which were used as justification for enslavement. What was most alarming, yet not surprising was that this idea still existed today. As a psychology major at an HBCU, we often reference the eurocentric textbook which excludes Black voices and experiences. To counteract that we make sure to contribute out of beliefs and experiences in order to have a better understanding of Black mental health from our own lense. In doing so, I learned that clinical psychology and other medical practices still have this mindset of excluding Black people and justifying it. With that being said, the mentality of racial differences still exists today in our medical systems and negates proper treatment. This should serve as a call for Balck healthcare physicians with a passion of not only serving but putting out research that constantly counteracts this false narrative.
    (b) The language that was most profound to me was the blatant ignorance that paraded the text when it comes to othering Black bodies. Although this is a topic I am familiar with, seeing it in writing 401 years later the parallels are tragic. It really highlights the progression while illuminating the disparities, false information, and systemic racism that still negatively affect Black people in the United States.

    Mariah_Smith
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    This is a great response! I was curious as to the “illogical thinking” phrasing however, as I believe racism is quite intentional. Are you referring to the idea that black Americans are viewed as subhuman? I would love to know your thoughts. (this is to Lauren I’m not sure if I am using the “reply” function correctly)

    Whitney_Williams
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Separate to Equal Response

    After watching the “From Separate to Equal: The Creation of the Truman Medical Center,” I felt energized and inspired. I began to understand the complexities of the relationship between the healthcare system and the African American community. While white patients were given adequate care at hospitals, black patients were overlooked and discriminated against. Furthermore, African Americans were weary of a system that abused African Americans for years in scientific experiments like Tuskegee. I was especially surprised to learn about the death of W.E.B DuBois’ son solely because of his physical appearance, an unfortunate reality for millions of African Americans at the time. However, I was equally encouraged by the African American communities’ response to this reality through the creation of schools and hospitals. Revolutionaries like Dr.Thomas Unthank took on the struggle of equality with bravery and ingenuity, assessing both the dire healthcare situation of African Americans in Kansas City and seeking solutions. One of Unthanks’ solutions, The John Lange Hospital, became the first hospital for African Americans in Kansas City, Missouri. Another important trailblazer Dr. Edward Perry fought great hardship to attend the Medical School of Chicago, where he took meticulous notes on surgeries and classes. He sacrificed his safety to share the important medical information he learned with the African American community. Without the courage and perseverance of Dr. Thomas Unthank and Dr.Edward Perry, countless African American lives would have been lost. I was also intrigued to learn the first integrated hospital, Queen of the World Hospital was located in Kansas City. Despite the city’s history of segregation and discrimination, the hospital was able to thrive for a short time. I found this compromising attitude as fascinating as Kansas Citys’ healthcare system evolved from one fraught with discrimination and segregation to one capable of having the nation’s first integrated hospital. In conclusion, “From Separate to Equal: The Creation of the Truman Medical Center” offers a unique perspective on African Americans’ fight for equal healthcare and the historical complexities of the system itself.

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