In this edition of Industry News, the first HBCU to add a medical school in half a century, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions to the health care system in the US, a medical student’s TikToks about racism in health care are going viral, a new report was issued on the identification of skulls of Black people held by the Penn Museum, what the world loses when the arts and humanities are in decline, and Morehouse School of Medicine is starting a program to document and archive the experiences of Black women’s experiences of serious complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

New HBCU School of Medicine

Morgan State University will be the first HBCU in nearly five decades to open a new medical school. The proposed name is The Maryland College of Osteopathic Medicine and it is scheduled to welcome its first class in Fall 2024. The new school will join Morehouse School of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Meharry Medical College. 

[Via NPR]


RX Revolutionary

A medical student at Washington State University is challenging racism in health care through the media platform TikTok. Joel Bervell’s video about pulse oximeters not working as equally with darker skin tones went viral, “and the comments were from physicians and nurses and PAs saying that they had never heard about it before.”

[Via Scientific American]


MLK’s Contributions to Health Care in the US

Dr. Aletha Maybank, Chief Health Equity Officer and Senior Vice President of the American Medical Association (AMA), speaking at the recent 2023 R(evolution) Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Keynote Lecture hosted by the University of Michigan, said that Dr. King’s organizing resulted in significant contributions to the American health care system as well as the overall state of health in the United States. According to Dr. Maybank, “Black physicians were often excluded from working in white hospitals during Martin Luther King Jr.’s time, in large part due to the AMA’s policies. . . . [While] the AMA did not take the necessary steps to promote desegregation, the advocacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the National Medical Association, which consists of Black physicians, pushed health equality forward.” 

[Via Michigan Daily]


New Report on the Morton Cranial Collection at the Penn Museum

In a new report, the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology said that the number of skulls of Black individuals whose skulls were collected by the white supremacist doctor Samuel George Morton and are currently held by the Museum has risen from 13 to 20. The Morton Cranial Collection came into the Museum’s possession in 1966. In 2021 the Penn Museum began the process of identifying and burying or repatriating the remains. 

[Via The Philadelphia Inquirer] 


Archive of Black Women’s Stories at Morehouse

A new program at Morehouse School of Medicine highlights the stories of Black women who experience grave pregnancy or childbirth complications. Dr. Natalie Hernandez, the executive director of Morehouse School of Medicine’s new Center for Maternal Health Equity, and her colleagues are documenting survivor stories for an oral history archive known as the Maternal Near Miss project. The women’s stories will be shared with healthcare providers, policy-makers and the National Library of Medicine. “’A lot of women felt because they were Black that they weren’t listened to,’ Dr. Hernandez said. ‘I think we heard that in about 80% of the stories that were shared with us.’”

[Via Fox 5 Atlanta] 


The Value of Arts and Humanities

James Engell, Gurney Profssor of English and Professor of Comparative Literature, on the value of the arts and humanities and what the world loses when they are in decline. “Civil rights, labor rights, women’s rights: all propelled by persons deeply acquainted with the humanities and arts. Maria Stewart, Rachel Carson, Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau, John L. Lewis, John R. Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., Rose Schneiderman: each immersed in literature, religion, poetry, history, biography, or philosophy—or several of these. . . . By minimizing the arts and humanities, higher education exacerbates the problems confronting society.” 

Via Harvard Magazine


Oh, the Humanities! is continuing the INDSUTRY NEWS section of the newsletter, but wanted to present the info outside the small margins of the email window. The list of news items is curated by OTH editors to reflect topics of the day that are of interest to the OTH audience. 

In a seasonally-favored edition of Industry News, Cambridge University Press has dusted off its famous “Christmas Book” limited editions and digitized them; the University of Louisville’s library has put together some books and movie suggestions for Kwanzaa; a new photo-essay scopes out eleven ancient sites around the world that are aligned to the winter solstice; Iceland gets very bookish in the run up to Christmas Eve, much to the relief of its publishing industry, and the Library of Congress digs into the true story of the Hanukkah dreidel.

Kwanzaa Resources

The William F. Ekstrom Library at the University of Louisville has put together a collection of suggested books and films that showcase the seven principles of Kwanzaa: 

[From University of Louisville Libraries] 

The Truth Behind the Dreidel

The Library of Congress digs into the origin of and stories told about the Hanukkah dreidel, the spinning top traditionally associated with the holiday, and explicates the true history of the toy.

[From Library of Congress Folklife Today blog] 

Cambridge “Christmas Books”

Cambridge University Press has digitized its “Christmas Books’–limited edition volumes that were produced as Christmas gifts for ‘friends in printing and publishing’ between 1930 and 1973:

[From Cambridge News] 

Winter Solstice Sites

The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, falling on December 21st or 22nd, has been a significant time of year in many prehistoric cultures.  It marks the symbolic death and rebirth of the Sun since the gradual waning of daylight hours is reversed and days begin to grow longer. These eleven ancient sites are aligned with the sun on the winter solstice and were likely used by our ancestors for rituals to celebrate the midwinter festival.

[From Business Insider] 

Readin’ Around the Christmas Tree

Iceland’s traditional “Christmas book flood” is a large component of the publishing industry in that highly-literate nation. 

[From Smithsonian Magazine]