Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination

The Gloria Thomas Memorial Lecture by

Dr. Alondra Nelson

Thursday, October 11, 2012
6pm – 8 pm in the Skylight Room
CUNY Graduate Center. Free and open to the public.

The Black Panthers are most often remembered for their revolutionary rhetoric and militant action. In this presentation, Alondra Nelson recalls their fight for healthcare access. The Black Panther Party’s understanding of health as a basic human right and its engagement with the social implications of genetics anticipated current debates about the politics of health and race. This legacy and struggle continues today in the commitment of activists such as the late Gloria Thomas and in the fight for universal healthcare.

Alondra Nelson is associate professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University. Nelson received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California and her Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. She is also an editor of Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History; Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life; and “Afrofuturism,” a special issue of Social Text.

This lecture is named in honor of the late Gloria Thomas. Thomas, the long standing, administrative assistant of IRADAC died unexpectedly in 2008. Gloria was active in electoral campaigns; church organizations; organizations that lobbied for the expansion of Harlem Hospital; and organizations committed to reducing domestic violence against women. Thomas was deeply committed to improving the civil and political life of Harlem.

Sponsored by IRADAC, Institute for Research on African Diaspora and the Caribbean, and the Women’s Studies Program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *