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Kellogg African American Health Care Project records: 1918-2008
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In 1997, the University of Michigan's Historical Center for the Health Sciences received a $400,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to accumulate resources relating to African American health care in southeast Michigan in the 1940s to 1960s. The resulting oral history project contains valuable information regarding the issues of racial discrimination, labor and migration patterns and health care, and the attitudes of African Americans concerning the past health care system.

Even though Black-owned hospitals were in existence during this period and African Americans served as health care professionals, information regarding the African American experience was not well documented or has not been retained. Researchers in charge of the project, Ronald Amos and George Myers, thought that the best remaining sources of information would come from the patients, doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators themselves. Representatives from the Detroit Urban League, the Detroit Medical Society, the National Association of Black Nurses, and other organizations also participated in the study.

Other components of the study include the accumulation of historical medical records, a Web site and other digital records relating to African American health care, and materials from two national conferences. The first conference, entitled "The First Conference on Health Care Experiences of African Americans in Southeastern Michigan: How the Past Affects the Future," was held on October 29, 1997, and featured speakers on topics such as a historic perspective on genetic screening programs for diseases commonly found only in the African American community, dementia care for African Americans, and the problems with managed care. A second National Conference, with the theme of "How the Past Shapes Today and Tomorrow," took place in February of 1999, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and is also documented here. Its focus was the history and the effects in society today of segregated health care.

The project ended in the summer of the year 2000. An exhibit entitled "Helping Hands," featuring historic photos, documents, and articles on the African American health care experience in southeastern Michigan, continues to tour the Detroit area.

This record group does not contain the original documentation. Due to the importance of this study, several sets of records were created and were distributed to various archives, including the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University, the Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, and the Center for Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.