In the Blood
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In the Blood
Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race

Melbourne Tapper

176 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth 1998 | ISBN 978-0-8122-3471-8 | $24.95s | £16.50 | Add to cart

"Tapper's assertion that sickle cell anemia has been used to determine racial purity and whiteness as well as 'black inferiority' is very convincing and well documented. Based on the book's format and sophistication, it is recommended for all levels, from general readers to professionals in the medical sciences."—Choice

"Recommended for all levels, from general readers to professionals in the medical sciences."—Library Journal

Although it strikes individuals from a variety of backgrounds, sickle cell anemia has always been known as a "black" disease in America. In the Blood argues that ever since the discovery in 1910 and subsequent scientific analysis of the disease, sickle cell anemia has been manipulated to serve social ends-as a tool for securing white identity and a way to establish a hierarchy based on European heritage. Tapper shows how sickle cell anemia was used to promote the superiority of racial purity, to characterize the black body as contaminated, and even to support the notion that modern humans evolved from multiple origins.

Melbourne Tapper teaches anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin.

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