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Historian to Discuss Medicare and Civil Rights Revolution


JONESBORO – The College of Liberal Arts and Communication, the Department of History, and the College of Nursing and Health Professions at Arkansas State University will present the critically acclaimed PBS documentary, "Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution."

The screening starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, in room 1028 of the Humanities and Social Sciences Building (GPS: 2401 Aggie Road).

Afterward, guest speaker Karen Kruse Thomas, school historian at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will discuss the film and its depiction of how the struggles for racial justice and healthcare intersected as Medicare was created and thousands of hospitals were desegregated.

Thomas, who was adviser for the film, is author of "Deluxe Jim Crow: Civil Rights and American Health Policy 1935 – 1954," on which the film is partially based. She earned a PhD in 20th-century U.S. history, with a focus on Southern, African-American, and medical history, from the University of North Carolina.

Her second book, "Health and Humanity: A History of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1935-1985," examines the recent history of public health through the lens of the oldest and largest school of public health.

Thomas has won prizes from the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Journal of Southern History. Her work has received funding from the Harry Truman Presidential Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The screening and lecture are open to the public, and admission is free. For additional information, one may contact Dr. Simon Hosken, instructor in the Department of History, shosken@AState.edu or (870) 972-3046.

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Karen Thomas
Karen Thomas