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Region 7 Update September 27th, 2022
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African-American/Black Experiences and Anti-Racism in Graphic Medicine

Posted by on June 23rd, 2020 Posted in: Blog, Graphic Medicine
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In light of recent events including police brutality and ensuing protests, the staff at NNLM NER stand with the Black and African American community. My colleagues in other NNLM regions curated lists highlighting Black/African-American Health and Anti-Racist resources:

  • Pacific Southwest Region with links to African American mental health, anti-racist reading materials, cultural competency, NLM African American and race history, racism in science, and PubMed Central articles about police brutality and African American health.
  • Middle Atlantic Region with links to resources related to mental health, funded projects, cultural competency, racism in science and more.
  • Greater Midwest Region with links to resources related to mental health, anti-racist reading, NLM African American and race history and more.

In the interest of sharing different resources and with NER’s special initiative focused on graphic medicine, I felt it was important to share graphic medicine by and about Black/African-American health, as well as anti-racist graphic medicine resources.

Graphic Medicine is comic books and graphic novels that cover topics of health and wellness.  The visual format makes the information easier to understand and digest.  By reading a personal, non-fiction story, we can learn about issues we may not have experienced ourselves.  These stories can also help us feel less alone in our own lives.

From traditionally published graphic novels to webcomics and self-published works, below are some examples of graphic medicine works and resources that address Black/African-American health and race or racism.

Whit Taylor is a cartoonist and public health professional who has graphic medicine works that often include historical and scientific context for public health and healthcare concepts.

Using statistics, historical records and stakeholder interviews, We Are Wynadotte (Kansas City, KS) created two comics on redlining and how the practice continues to affect the health of their community.

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and the Graphic Novel Round Table curated a reading list of graphic novels that highlight Black experiences.  Here are three examples of graphic medicine works on the list:

Looking to make your graphic medicine collections and programming more inclusive? My PSR colleagues hosted a webinar on Inclusive Graphic Medicine in August, 2019.

Image of the author ABOUT Sarah Levin-Lederer

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NNLM Region 7
University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School.

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