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Health Rights Are Civil Rights

Peace and Justice Activism in Los Angeles, 1963–1978

2014
Author:

Jenna Loyd

Health Rights Are Civil Rights

How demands for dignified medical care and healthy living conditions brought together social justice advocates

Health Rights Are Civil Rights tells the story of the important place of health in struggles for social change in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s. Jenna M. Loyd describes how Black freedom, antiwar, welfare rights, and women’s movement activists formed alliances to battle oppressive health systems and structural violence, working to establish the principle that health is a right.

Health Rights are Civil Rights suggests an entirely new geography of Los Angeles based on both activism and geopolitics. Jenna M. Loyd makes pathbreaking connections between health, war-making, race, and the environment that offer us a new way of viewing midcentury Los Angeles. An essential text for all scholars of Los Angeles, health, race, and activism.

Laura Pulido, University of Southern California

Health Rights Are Civil Rights tells the story of the important place of health in struggles for social change in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s. Jenna M. Loyd describes how Black freedom, antiwar, welfare rights, and women’s movement activists formed alliances to battle oppressive health systems and structural violence, working to establish the principle that health is a right. For a time—with President Nixon, big business, and organized labor in agreement on national health insurance—even universal health care seemed a real possibility.

Health Rights Are Civil Rights documents what many Los Angeles activists recognized: that militarization was in part responsible for the inequalities in American cities. This challenging new reading of suburban white flight explores how racial conflicts transpired across a Southland landscape shaped by defense spending. While the war in Vietnam constrained social spending, the New Right gained strength by seizing on the racialized and gendered politics of urban crisis to resist urban reinvestment and social programs.

Recapturing a little-known current of the era’s activism, Loyd uses an intersectional approach to show why this diverse group of activists believed that democratic health care and ending war were essential to create cities of freedom, peace, and social justice—a vision that goes unanswered still today.

Health Rights Are Civil Rights

Jenna M. Loyd received her PhD in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, and is assistant professor of public health policy and administration at the Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. She is a coeditor of Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders, and Global Crisis.

Health Rights Are Civil Rights

Health Rights are Civil Rights suggests an entirely new geography of Los Angeles based on both activism and geopolitics. Jenna M. Loyd makes pathbreaking connections between health, war-making, race, and the environment that offer us a new way of viewing midcentury Los Angeles. An essential text for all scholars of Los Angeles, health, race, and activism.

Laura Pulido, University of Southern California

Scholars will benefit from Loyd’s analysis of heath projects during a period of intense political activism and in a region where activists were acutely aware of social injustice.

Mobilization

Health Rights are Civil Rights fills a critical historical void, both in the social movement literature and in racial and ethnic studies.

Mobilization

[Health Rights are Human Rights] offers scholars in the humanities and social sciences new ways to conceptualize the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s as well as changes to the American healthcare system in the same period.

Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences

Health Rights Are Civil Rights

Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction: War, American Exceptionalism, and the Place of Health Activism

Part I. Desegregating Health, Transforming Health Care
1. Urban Geopolitics and the Fight for “Equal Justice in Health Care Now”
2. Watts, the War on Poverty, and the Promise of Community Control

Part II. Urban Crisis
3. Economic Conversion, Survival, and Race in “Dodge City”
4. Mothering Underground: The Home in Women’s Welfare and Peace Organizing
5. The War at Home: Forging Interracial Solidarities for Peace and Freedom

Part III. Cold War Body Politics
6. Population Scares and Antiviolence Roots of Reproductive Justice
7. Where Is Health? The Place of the Clinic in Social Change
8. “Property Rights over Human Life”: Taxes and Austerity in the Divided City

Epilogue: The Right to Health Meets the Right to the City
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Health Rights Are Civil Rights

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