Unable to Breathe: Race, Asthma, and the Environment

Unable to Breathe: Race, Asthma, and the Environment

At the height of the civil rights movement, the medical profession began exploring the relationship among race, asthma, and the environment. As asthma hospitalization rates skyrocketed at New Orleans’ Charity Hospital and New York’s Harlem and Metropolitan Hospitals, researchers shifted their focus away from psychosomatic explanations of asthma to the toxicity of black urban locales. By examining asthma hospitalization rates, public housing records, and the work of New York City’s first ...

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