Legacy of the Crossing: Life, Death and Triumph among descendants of the world’s largest forced migration

Legacy of the Crossing deploys solid research to chart the health status and outcomes among descendants of the Transatlantic slave trade. Leading scholars and health advocates from Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Nicaragua, United States and Venezuela share insights on chronic disease, HIV/AIDS, infant and maternal mortality and the social determinants of health.  This book is required reading for those who want to understand and solve health disparities.

Praise for Legacy of the Crossing

“I hope the voices in this book inspire you as much as they did me. Because ultimately we are one world. One people. And we all deserve an equal opportunity to realize our potential.”

- Gail C. Christopher Vice President for Program Strategy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Our Authors

A native of Barbados, Alleyne is the former Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and was elected Director Emeritus of PAHO in 2003. He was also the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Christopher is the Vice President for Program Strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She is a nationally-recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise in the social determinants of health. Dr. Christopher leads the foundation’s program supporting racial healing and works to dismantle structural racism. She received the 2012 John C. MacQueen Lecture Award by the Association of Maternal & maternal and child health, for promoting racial equity in improving the lives of vulnerable children.
MICHAEL HANCHARD is the SOBA Presidential Professor in the Political Science Department of Johns Hopkins University and a founding director of the Racism, Immigration and Citizenship Program. His research and teaching interests combine a specialization in comparative politics with an interest in contemporary political theory, encompassing themes of nationalism, racism and xenophobia, and citizenship. His publications include Orpheus and Power: The Movimento Negro of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1945-1988 (Princeton University Press, 1994),  Racial Politics in Contemporary Brazil, editor, (Duke University Press, 1999)  and Party/Politics: Horizons in Black Political Thought (Oxford University Press, 2006). 
BEN VINSON III is Vice Dean for Centers, Interdepartmental Programs, and Graduate Programs at the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, Johns Hopkins University. Prior to this appointment, he was the Director of the Center for Africana Studies. Although an expert on colonial Mexico, Dr. Vinson has focused his research on Latin America, the African Diaspora, and the experiences between African-Americans and Latinos. His books include Afromexico, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean, (Black Mexico, and Africans to Spanish America). He is the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Bibliographies Online, Latin America section. 
KWAKU (Paul) ADOMAKO is a first generation Canadian; both his parents are from Ghana, West Africa.  Now based in Toronto Canada, Kwaku earned a Masters of Science degree specializing in Gerontology at the University of Guelph, and has been working in the global health sector for 10 years. Focused on the intersections of public health, human rights, vulnerable populations, community-based research and policy analysis, Kwaku has worked with diverse stakeholders to impact change. He has been a consultant with the African and Black Diaspora Global Network on HIV/ AIDS (ABDGN) since its inception in 2006. Kwaku currently is working in Infection, Prevention and Control research at Public Health Ontario. 
Edna Araujo
Edna Araujo is a professor in the Department of Health at UEFS where she teaches courses in Epidemiology and Public Health at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is a board member of the Academic Master, member of the Municipal and State Technical Committee on Health of the Black Population, coordinator of research projects and extension, and group leader and research coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Studies on Health Inequalities (NUDES). Lastly, Dr. Araujo has consulted on various projects for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Secretariat for the Promotion of Equality (SEPROMI).
BENJAMIN BOWSER is a research and medical sociologist specializing in African American communities and program evaluations. He has pioneered the development of strategies to access hidden and hard to reach sub-populations to conduct health risk surveys and HIV prevention education. He was part of the national study team that established the link between crack cocaine use and HIV. He is former Board Chair of the American Social Health Association, of the Glide Foundation and of the University of California University-wide AIDS Research program. He is currently on the Oakland, California Workforce Investment Board.
NOEL BRATHWAITE is Director of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago.  His previous professional experiences included the University of Miami, the Florida Department of Health, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).  Dr. Brathwaite has published a number of articles examining the determinants of chronic disease.  During the summer of 2012, he was a CICAD- Organization of American States (OAS) Research Fellow with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), University of Toronto, Canada. 
DIANE BROWN is a professor of Health Education and Behavioral Science at the UMDNJ-Rutgers School of Public Health and served as founding Executive Director of the Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Prior to joining UMDNJ, Dr. Brown was director of the Urban Health Program at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She has also been a Health Scientist Administrator at the National Institutes of Health and a faculty member at Howard University. 
JACQUELYN CAMPBELL is Anna D. Wolf Chair and professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing with a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Campbell has been conducting advocacy, policy work and research in the area of domestic violence and health outcomes since 1980.She has published more than 240 articles and seven books on this subject. She co-chairs the Steering Committee for the World Health Organization Multi-Country Study on Violence and Health; is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Board on Global Health and a Fogarty Senior Scientist.  
RAQUEL CASARES is a consultant for the United Nations in the Dominican Republic. For the past six years, she has worked in the area of international relations, HIV and AIDS, and gender in the Dominican Republic and Haiti for organizations including Progressio, UNAIDS, and UN Women. Her areas of interest are the integration of HIV and gender into humanitarian responses, migrant women´s access to sexual reproductive healthcare, and the inequalities in healthcare of the bateyes population, settlements of workers of the sugar industry, in the Dominican Republic.
MIRTHA COLON is the President and Founder of Hondurans Against AIDS, Inc. She serves as a Focal Point representative on HIV/AIDS for the Afro-Central American Communities, under The HIV/AIDS Secretariat of the Indigenous and Afro-descendant Communities. Ms. Colon is a founding member of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. and was an International Coordinator of the Garífuna USA Bicentennial Committee and a Board member, of the Federation of Honduran Organizations in New York (FEDOHNY).
JAMES CORBETT is the System Vice President of Mission at Steward Health Care System in Massachusetts where he oversees Mission, Ethics, and Community Benefits. Prior to that appointment, he was the Director of Mission Effectiveness at St. Andre Health Care Facility in Biddeford, Maine, then Vice President of Mission Effectiveness for Mercy Health System in Portland, Maine. Dr. Corbett is interested in the intersection of public health, law, ethics and community development.
OLGA IDRISS DAVIS is Associate Professor of Communication in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University (ASU). She serves as Principal Investigator of Health Literacy of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Center of Excellence for the Study of Health Disparities. Currently, Davis leads an NIH demonstration project collaborating with Black barbershops in Phoenix on innovative methods of health literacy to improve the cardiovascular health of African American men. Davis has published numerous essays in academic journals and co-editor of Centering Ourselves: African American Feminist and Womanist Studies of Discourse published by Hampton Press. 
DAMIANA DE MIRANDA is an Afro-Brazilian physician with expertise in mental health, psychoanalysis, health planning, and management of mental health facilities. She is a descendant of a runaway slave community – Comunidade Remanescente de Quilombo, located on the Tiny Island of Maré, Salvador, Bahia, where she developed some of her research projects. Since 2003 she has been a member of the Ministry of Health Afro-Brazilian Committee.
JOSEPHINE ETOWA is an Associate Professor and Loyer-DaSilva Research Chair in Public Health Nursing in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. As a nurse, midwife, lactation consultant, researcher and educator, she has worked in various capacities including clinical practice, research, education and health consultancy. Her research is in the area of health equity and ethno-cultural diversity with studies that focus on maternal-child health, research and policy development, capacity building among nurses in Canada and low middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean. 
Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS is a “Disease Detective” (Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer) assigned to the Office of Health Equity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention in Atlanta, GA.   Her current work focuses on the epidemiology of social determinants of health and their impact on sexually transmitted infections, particularly among vulnerable populations.  She has conducted ethnographic and epidemiologic assessments of social and other determinants of congenital syphilis and its antecedents in pregnant women in the United States and Kenya. 
CORLISS HEATH is from Atlanta, Georgia and has over 15 years of professional experience in public health research. She has worked on a range of public health issues, including community-based research, women’s health, chronic diseases, cancer and pain management, mental health, HIV/AIDS, and health services and outcomes research. Previously Ms. Heath worked as an HIV/AIDS researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Her current research examines the invisibility of middle class black women in HIV and AIDS research.
FATIMAH JACKSON-BEST is a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Jackson-Best seeks to bring research on Black Caribbean women’s mental health from the margins to the centre. Since 2010 she has been an intern and research consultant with the Institute for Gender and Development Studies: Nita Barrow Unit at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill. Jackson-Best has participated in several mixed methods research studies which explored topics such as Bajan mothers of chronically ill children, teenage sexuality among Bajan youth, and a project on Gender and Leadership. She is currently pursuing research on women’s experiences with postpartum depression and baby blues in Barbados.  
LOVERNE JACOBS-BROWNE is an associate professor of History and is the Dean for the School of Humanities of the University of the Southern Caribbean Trinidad and Tobago. From 1999 -2005, she worked in the secondary school system as a history and social studies teacher. Her research interests are the history of health and minority groups and aspects of the social history of St. Vincent which she has been avidly researching for the past eight years.
LAUREN C. JOHNSON has a PhD in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida. She earned her BA and MA degrees from Columbia University. An educator for many years in both the United States and abroad, Dr. Johnson is currently an instructor at the University of South Florida and Hillsborough Community College. Her research interests focus on the social construction of race, gender, ethnicity, and class in the African Diaspora, particularly in the Caribbean and Latin America. 
RICK KITTLES is an associate professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics. Moreover, he is an Associate Director of the Cancer Center, and Director of the Institute of Human Genetics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Kittles helped establish and coordinate a national cooperative network to study the genetics of hereditary prostate cancer in the African American community. He has been at the forefront of the development of ancestry-informative genetic markers, and the use of genetic ancestry to map genes for common traits and disease.
KWASI KONADU  is associate professor of history at the Center for Ethnic Studies, The City University of New York. Konadu has conducted archival and field research in West Africa, Britain, Brazil, the Caribbean basin and North America. His writings focus on African and African diasporic history, culture, and indigenous sources of knowledge. He is the author of Indigenous Knowledge and Medicine in African Society, A View from the East: Black Cultural Nationalism and Education in New York City. He is currently completing The Ghana Reader: History, Culture, Politics and African World Histories
ALAERTE LEANDRO MARTINS, a native of Santa Catarina, Brazil, currently works for the Secretary of Health in the State of Parana where she coordinates programs for Women’s Health. She earned her PhD in Public Health from the University of Sao Paulo, where her dissertation was entitled, “Near Miss and Black Women in Three Municipalities in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba.” Dr. Martins is a member and former president of the State Committee for the Prevention of Maternal Mortality-Parana, executive coordinator for the Network of Black Women-Parana, along with various other groups focusing on nursing and women’s health. She represents the State University of Feira de Santana and Xis-Quilombo Community Cultural Action.
PEDRO ORDUNEZ is regional advisor for non-communicable diseases prevention and control at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/ World Health Organization (WHO). He has particular expertise in hypertension and cardiovascular diseases and chronic diseases epidemiology. He joined the PAHO/WHO from the University Hospital in Cienfuegos, Cuba, WHO Collaborative Center, where he was Director General, and also, where he was Professor of Medicine and Public Health. He is also a former postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has published extensively in Cuban and international peer-reviewed journals. 
WARREN PERRY is Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), Director of the Archaeology Laboratory for African & African Diaspora Studies (ALAADS), and Co-Director of the Center for Africana Studies at CCSU. Dr. Perry served as Director of Archaeology for the New York African Burial Ground Project starting in 1993. His interests include social inequality and African Diaspora spiritual practices. He is the author of Landscape Transformations and the Archaeology of Impact: Social Disruption and State Formation in Southern Africa, and the co-editor of The New York African Burial Ground: Unearthing the African Presence in Colonial New York.
DELIA REUBEN is a social worker and scholar with diverse experience in psychosocial education, psychotherapy and mental health and addictions. At present, Ms. Reuben offers a variety of counseling alternatives for individuals from different social and economic backgrounds in a supportive healing environment. She is committed to professional development and is planning to pursue a PhD in Social Work focusing on the urban communities, chronic mental health and the family.
ROBERTO ROJAS, originally from Peru, is a consultant in the Department of International Law in the Secretariat for Legal Affairs at the Organization for American States (OAS). Mr. Rojas is active in Peruvian and Latin American civil society groups, having served as president of Makungu for Development as well as working with the Center for Ethnic Development (CEDET), and various organizations for youth of African descent.
ANDREIA BEATRIZ SILVA dos SANTOS is a medical specialist in family health. Silva dos Santos is a currently a doctoral student at the Institute of Public Health in the Federal University of Bahia, where she conducts research on health care policy in Brazil’s prison system. She teaches medical courses and is a researcher of the Research Situation Room and Epidemiological Analysis of the Department of Health, State University of Feira de Santana / Bahia, Brazil. Silva dos Santos is also a member of the Organization of Xis Quilombo- Community Cultural Action that provide services for women and men and their families in a state prison on the outskirts of Salvador and within the prison system Bahia.
BAMIDELE TAYO is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine with an educational background in human nutrition, statistics, statistical genetics, epidemiology and community health. Tayo is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (U.K.) and a professional member of the International Genetic Epidemiology Society, the American Society of Human Genetics and the American Heart Association. His research interests include genetic association mapping of complex human diseases, development and evaluation of statistical methods for genetic linkage and association studies. 
ANRES I. VECINO-ORTIZ is a doctoral candidate in Health Systems at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. After finishing his medical studies at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia; Vecino-Ortiz received a master’s of Economics degree from Universidad de los Andes in the same city and carried out as Post Doctoral fellowship at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington.  Dr. Vecino-Ortiz’s current research interests are mainly focused on health economics. 
CIANN WILSON is a PhD student at the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. A direct result of her lived experience as a racialized woman and youth advocate, Ms. Wilson’s research interests include community health, HIV and AIDS, the political economy of health, social determinants, critical race and class theories, qualitative, quantitative, community-based and indigenous research approaches. The Let’s Talk about Sex project was funded by the Ontario HIV/AIDS Treatment Network. Ciann is currently supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Doctoral Award. 
COLWICK WILSON is currently an associate professor in the School of Nursing and Research Associate Affiliate at the Institute of Social Research at the University of Michigan.  He is former Chair, Director of Research, and professor in the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences at Loma Linda University. Dr. Wilson graduated from the University of Michigan with his PhD in Sociology and has published in the areas of family, medical sociology and health disparities. 

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