Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 129-150

First online:

“Am I Not a Woman?” The Rhetoric of Breast Cancer Stories in African American Women's Popular Periodicals

  • Cynthia RyanAffiliated withDepartment of English, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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Representations of breast cancer are examined in three popular women's periodicals targeting African American readers: Ebony, Essence, and Black Elegance. The researcher focuses specifically on representations that reflect certain ideas/ideals about the sharing and creating of information about the disease and related issues, such as health care and body image. Magazine selections are analyzed and critiqued according to the epistemological principles outlined by Patricia Hill Collins in Black Feminist Thought. The author calls for further research into how and why particular social and cultural groups consume information about health and illness in particular ways.

breast cancer discourse African American women popular periodicals epistemology illness narratives