Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International Studies

Committee Director

Peter Schulman

Committee Member

Angela Huizar

Committee Member

Peter Adams


There has been a long fight to dehumanize the black body and hinder the black mind through the power to enact individual, institutional, and cultural racism. Medical experiments of the past have occurred as a result of the belief that blacks are intellectually inferior, and, in a sense, a different species. There also has been an implementation of birth control strategies in the United States of America in order to exterminate this supposed “diseugenic”, or un-divine, race. Similarly, South Africa has had abortion laws with the goal being to increase white birth rates, and it not only did that, but black women also bore the consequences of illegal and unsafe abortions due to the high cost. Furthermore, individual racism, or scientific racism, has a long history, and has seeped into the modern day bias of health assessment, and gave birth to iatrophobia- an abnormal or irrational fear of going to the doctors- amongst blacks all around the world. From the exclusion of the black women’s voice due to “white” feminism in both America and South Africa, to the detrimental effects of gentrification on blacks, these two share many of the same issues in regards to filtering out the black image. Finally, cultural racism in both America and South Africa has, with stereotypes in art and media, successfully filtered the black image, and has done so with the help of the black community. However, if we acknowledge this goal of filtering the black image, then the United States of America and South Africa will be able to wholly progress as a society.


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