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Blacks still wary of clinical trials

Dr. Neil R. Powe, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland was lead author of a recent study conducted by several Johns Hopkins researchers. johnshopkins.jpg

"The study surveyed 717 outpatients at 14 Maryland clinics. Of the respondents, 36 percent were black and the rest white," according to the Baltimore Sun.  "The primary purpose of the research study was to test whether African-Americans were indeed more fearful of medical research than whites.                                                         photo by Kenneth K.Lam (Baltimore Sun)

"When asked if they would participate in a mock study of a heart disease drug, black men and women were only 60 percent as likely as whites to agree to participate.

"Blacks were also more distrustful of doctors than whites were. For instance, 58 percent of black patients felt their physicians would willingly give them experimental drugs without their consent, compared with 28 percent of whites.

"Similarly, 25 percent of blacks but only 15 percent of whites said their doctors would ask them to participate in a risky study.

"This distrust means that fewer blacks participate in research, Powe said, and as a result, studies might miss important biological differences in how people of different races respond to new medical therapies.

"Wayne Bridge, 52, a retired African-American state trooper who lives in Baltimore, traced the origins of his general wariness to slavery. ‘After that little Carnival Cruise we enjoyed from Africa, maybe that plays a role in the attitude,' he said."

The results of the study confirm observations of many researchers and those in the black community. And might explain why clinical trials fail to enroll enough black participants - "and why trials might fail to predict how blacks will react to new drugs and medical devices" according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study-the 40 year experiment where black men were injected with syphilis without their knowledge- might also explain why blacks are apprehensive about participating in medical trials.

Additionally, as Dr. Harriet Washington points out in her book Medical Apartheid, (see our "Shop" page) "There is a long, unhappy and unfortunately consistent history of exploitation of blacks by the medical system. Many, many African-Americans have preserved the memory of these abuses."

The results of the study were published January 14, 2008 in the online journal Medicine.

7:49 pm est          Comments

Jamaica to celebrate February as 'Reggae Month'

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has announced "that Jamaicans, will for the first time this year observe the month of February as 'Reggae Month' to highlight the impact of the musical genre on the country's social, cultural and economic development," a short article on the Jamaica Information Service website reports.

"The Prime Minister also announced that he had written to Governor-General Sir Kenneth Hall requesting him to issue an official proclamation declaring February Reggae Month in perpetuity.


Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding with Rita Marley

"Mr. Golding said in addition to being a part of our culture, reggae music has been used by Jamaicans as a means of expression and to communicate our experiences, trials and successes, as well as our joys and sorrows. He said the music has also been used to declare our position against oppression and suffering and to tell of our hopes, with the love as the underlying constant. He said this aspect of the music was the reason it had been embraced by people from around the world, but that Jamaicans felt no jealousy as, 'reggae will always remain Jamaica and Jamaica will always remain reggae....'"

"There will be a full calendar of activities to mark Reggae Month starting with the Bob Marley Birthday Dinner on February 6th, the UWI Global Reggae Conference, a Reggae Film Festival and a football match between the Reggae Boyz and Costa Rica, a star-studded Reggae Academy Awards honouring outstanding music industry personalities and the 'Africa Unite - Smile Jamaica' concert being hosted by Rita Marley and the Bob Marley Foundation."

8:02 pm est          Comments

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In partnership with:
LUNDU Center for Afro-Peruvian Advancement 



By Lisa Scott


Interviews with over 30 Jamaican immigrants on their pre-migratory perceptions of New York and England

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The book focuses attention on a large, vibrant, yet oddly invisible community in the United States: people of African descent from Latin America and the Caribbean. The presence of Afro-Latin@s in the United States (and throughout the Americas) belies the notion that Blacks and Latin@s are two distinct categories or cultures. Afro-Latin@s are uniquely situated to bridge the widening social divide between Latin@s and African Americans. At the same time, their experiences reveal pervasive racism among Latin@s and ethnocentrism among African Americans. Offering insight into Afro-Latin@ life and new ways to understand culture, ethnicity, nation, identity, and antiracist politics, The Afro-Latin@ Reader presents a kaleidoscopic view of Black Latin@s in the United States. It addresses history, music, gender, class, and media representations in more than sixty selections, including scholarly essays, memoirs, newspaper and magazine articles, poetry, short stories, and interviews.

 Click here to view and purchase the book.



By Karen Juanita Carrillo



The proof of any group's importance to history is in the detail, a fact made plain by this informative book's day-by-day documentation of the impact of African Americans on life in the United States.  One of the easiest ways to grasp any aspect of history is to look at it as a continuum. African American History Day by Day: A Reference Guide to Events provides just such an opportunity.

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by Karen Juanita Carrillo


The View from Chocó: The Afro-Colombian past, their lives in the present, and their hopes for the future is an introduction to the lives of Blacks in Colombia. Afro-Colombians live in a resource-rich yet remote region of Colombia. They only recently won recognition as one of that nation's distinct ethnic groups. But Colombia's on-going civil war has led many Afro-Colombians to reach even farther than their nation's borders for recognition: many have made their way to the United States as refugees and as political activists working for peace in their homeland. The View from Chocó introduces the lives and struggles of a too-long neglected community of Colombian Blacks. 

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