Black workers in the US Military: Immune or Infectious? with Khary Polk

Episode 48 - February 11, 2021
Contagions of Empire

Khary Polk (Amherst College) joins the Infectious Historians to talk about his recent book on African-American workers in the US military, particularly in the context of their perceived immunity to certain infectious diseases such as Yellow Fever. The conversation touches upon several related topics, such as patriotism and gender roles in the military. Khary also describes how racial thinking shifted over time, and how African-American troops were (mis-)treated within the military over the first half of the twentieth century. The conversation concludes with the potential links between Khary’s research and the Covid pandemic.

Our Guest

Khary Oronde Polk,

Associate Professor of Black Studies and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies.

Khary Polk