Legacy: A Black Physician Reckons with Racism in Medicine

Books on Tape. Jan. 2024. 8:07 hrs. ISBN 9780593822326. $95. MEMOIR
Physician and healthcare advocate Blackstock debuts with a memoir blending personal anecdotes and insights into racial injustices in the medical field. Narrating her own book with soft-spoken yet galvanizing confidence, she shares her life story, beginning with her upbringing in the Bronx, where she was raised by her mother, a pioneering Black physician who inspired the author and her twin sister to become doctors. Blackstock’s experiences as both patient and practitioner helped her to recognize the systemic inequities built into the healthcare field, prompting her to found Advancing Health Equity, an organization dedicated to improving care and reducing racial healthcare inequities. Her narration is most impactful when her professional knowledge intersects with her personal life. Whether she is describing being mistreated at urgent care while a Harvard student, listening to her barber’s concerns about the COVID vaccine, or her mother’s fatal illness, her well-chosen vignettes remind listeners that speaking up can be a matter of life or death. Blackstock’s condemnation of medical racism is delivered with clear-eyed urgency and thoughtfulness.
VERDICT From start to finish, this is an excellently executed audio primer on the devastating consequences of structural injustices and the importance of enacting better care for people most in need.
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