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Under the Strain of ColorHarlem's Lafargue Clinic and the Promise of an Antiracist Psychiatry$
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Gabriel N. Mendes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453502

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453502.001.0001

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“Between the Sewer and the Church”

“Between the Sewer and the Church”

The Emergence of the Lafargue Mental Hygiene Clinic

(p.85) 3 “Between the Sewer and the Church”
Under the Strain of Color

Gabriel N. Mendes

Cornell University Press

This presents the intellectual, social, and political context from which the Lafargue Clinic emerged: black Americans’ struggles to live a human life in an antiblack social world. Black people often had difficulty gaining access to welfare relief and the social agencies that administered New Deal programs and services. This situation as well as changes in work, family, and recreation during the Great Depression produced a destabilizing effect on the psyches of some African Americans. Hence, Wertham, Wright, as well as Elizabeth Bishop founded the Lafargue Clinic that offered therapeutic services which focused on the social bases of psychic trauma.

Keywords:   Lafargue Clinic, antiblack social world, Great Depression, black people, Fredric Wertham, Richard Wright, Elizabeth Bishop

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