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"Racial Health" and the American South
Afro-American Studies 170: Conference Course, Fall 1998
Keith Wailoo, Harvard University


Office:  235D Science Center
(for appointment call Jean Titilah at 496-4508)



COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course examines conceptions and experiences of 'racial
health' as they have evolved in the American South.  It
traces the history of racial health (primarily but not
exclusively through African-American history) as a vehicle
for understanding the relationship of health to regional
politics, as a means of exploring the history of health,
health care, and medicine in the region, and as a venue for
interpreting the relationships among racial ideologies,
science, and medicine.  Thus the course examines how
questions of race, identity, culture, biology, and political
power have been implicit in the health concerns of black and
white Americans in the region.

Through reading and discussion, we will place special
emphasis on the following issues: the imagined and
experienced relationship between black health and white
health; the transformation of plantation cultures of
medicine and healing in the late 19th century; the rise of
new urban and rural economies of health and healing in the
20th century; the changing disease burden of the region and
the uses of disease in politics, law, and society; the
racial characterization and symbolism of diseases from
tuberculosis and syphilis to AIDS; the close intersection of
spiritual, naturalistic, and magical discourses with issues
of racial health; the politics of segregation and
integration in health care; and the place of racial health
in the regional political economy, in the Southern social
order, and in the identity and cultural transformation of
the region.

In addition, the course will scrutinize closely the numerous
sciences (anthropology, genetics, molecular biology,
psychology, psychiatry) and leading-edge technological
developments (blood plasma transfusion, sterilization,
bacteriological and genetics testing) that have been part of
the region's changing cultural landscape, and in shaping
notions of racial health in the region.


COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Discussion is crucial to the success of conference courses
like this one.  Reading in advance of class discussion is
crucial for the course's success.  Your constructive
contribution to class discussions will count for 30% of your
final grade.

There will be a midterm exam, including identifications and
short essays, and counting for 25% of your final grade.

You are required to write a 10-15 page paper on a disease,
health experience, medical controversy, or conceptual
problem relating to racial health.  The paper must make use
of the subject matter, insights, and discussions generated
in the class, but must involve original research and
analysis.  The specific features of the assignment will be
explained early in the semester.  The paper will be due on
December 9.  It will count for 30% of your grade.

There will be a final, take-home essay counting for 15% of
your final grade.  You will be required to write a final
synthetic essay (of no less than 3 pages and no more than 5
pages) analyzing and responding to a specific health
controversy/debate/problem, in light of the discussions,
readings, and themes of the course.  The essay question will
be available from January 16th (the first day of the final
exam period) through January 21st. Each student will be
given a period of 24 hours to write the double-spaced, typed
essay, and to return it to Jean Titilah in the Department of
the History of Science.  As with all work in this course,
collaboration on this essay is strictly prohibited.


COURSE BOOKS

The following books (noted by an asterisk on the syllabus)
are available at the COOP.

John Haller, Outcasts from Evolution: Scientific Attitudes
of Racial Inferiority, 1859-1900 (Urbana: University of
Illinois Press, 1971)
 
Edward Larson, Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep
South (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995) 

Darlene Clark Hine, Black Women in White: Racial Conflict
and Cooperation in the Nursing Profession, 1890-1950
(Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1989) 

James Cobb, The Most Southern Place on Earth: The
Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Southern Identity (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1992) 

Spencie Love, One Blood: The Death and Resurrection of
Charles R. Drew (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
Press, 1995) 

Laurie Abraham, Mama Might be Better Off Dead: The Failure
of Health Care in Urban America (Chicago: University of
Chicago Press, 1993) 

Other Readings:

Two copies will be available to be read in the Department of
Afro-American Studies (second floor Barker Center).  Two
copies will be available in the Department of the History of
Science reading room (Science Center 229C).  One of these
will be available to be checked out for limited periods of
time.  The readings will also be on reserve at Lamont
Library.


OFFICE HOURS

I will be available for short periods after class to answer
questions about the course.  For more extended discussion,
students are encouraged to set up an appointment to meet
with me in my office (235D Science Center) by calling Jean
Titilah (496-4508)



1.   September 16
  INTRODUCTION

Background Reading:

Alfred Crosby, The Columbian Exchange: The Biological and
  Social Consequences of 1492 (Westport, CT: Greenwood
  Press, 1982)

Philip Curtin, Death By Migration: Europe's Encounter with
  the Tropical World in the Nineteenth Century (New York:
  Cambridge University Press, 1989)


2:  September 23 PROPERTY, PAIN, AND THE SLAVE IDENTITY
  (240)

* John Haller, p. 1-94 in Outcasts from Evolution:
  Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority, 1859-1900
  (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1971)

Leslie Howard Owens, in This Species of Property: Slave Life
  and Culture in the Old South (New York: Oxford
  University Press, 1976), "Into the Fields – Life,
  Disease, and Labor in the Old South," and "Blackstrap
  Molasses and Cornbread-Diet and Its Impact on Behavior."
  p. 19-49, 50-69.

Todd Savitt, Medicine and Slavery, "White and Black
  Medicine," and "Blacks as Medical Specimens" p.149-184,
  281-307 in Medicine and Slavery: The Diseases and Health
  Care of Blacks in Antebellum Virginia (Urbana:
  University of Illinois Press, 1978).

Saidiya Hartman, "Redressing the Pained Body: Toward a
  Theory of Practice," p. 49-78 in Scenes of Subjection:
  Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century
  America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997)

Martin Pernick, p. 148-167 in A Calculus of Suffering: Pain,
  Professionalism, and Anesthesia in Nineteenth-Century
  America (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985)
  "'They Don't Feel It Like We Do': Social Politics and
  the Perception of Pain."

John Vlach, "Buildings for Slave Welfare," p. 142-152 in
  Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation
  Slavery (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina
  Press, 1993)

Supplemental Readings:

Winthrop Jordan, White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward
  the Negro, 1550-1812 (Chapel Hill: University of North
  Carolina Press, 1968)

William Stanton, The Leopard's Spots: Scientific Attitudes
  Toward Race in America, 1815-1859 (Chicago: University
  of Chicago Press, 1960)

William Postell, The Health of Slaves on Southern
  Plantations (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
  Press, 1951), p. 1-89.

Kenneth Stamp, "Maintenance, Morbidity, and Mortality," p.
  279-321 in The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the
  Ante-Bellum South (New York: Vintage, 1956)

Kenneth Kiple and Virginia Kiple, "Black Yellow Fever
  Immunities, Innate and Acquired, As Revealed in the
  American South," Social Science History 1 (1977):
  419-436.

Sally McMillen, "'No Uncommon Disease': Neonatal Tetanus,
  Slave Infants, and the Southern Medical Profession,"
  Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
  46 (1991): 291-314.

Philip Curtin, "Epidemiology and the Slave Trade," Political
  Science Quarterly 83 (1967): 190-216.

Albert Deutsch, "The First U. S. Census of the Insane (1840)
  and Its Use as Pro- Slavery Propaganda," Bulletin of the
  History of Medicine 15 (1944): 469-482.

John Harley Warner, "The Idea of Southern Medical
  Distinctiveness: Medical Knowledge and Practice in the
  Old South," p. 179-205 in Ronald Numbers and Todd
  Savitt, eds., Science and Medicine in the Old South
  (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1983)

L. A. Falk, "Black Abolitionist Doctors and Healers,
  1810-1885," Bulletin of the History of Medicine 54
  (Summer 1980): 258-272.

Reginald Horsman, Josiah Nott of Mobile: Southerner,
  Physician, and Racial Theorist (Baton Rouge: Louisiana
  State University Press, 1987)


3:  September 30
  RECONSTRUCTION AND FREEDOM'S IRONIES (230)
  
Clovis Semmes, Racism, Health, and Post-Industrialism: A
  Theory of African- American Health (Westport, CT:
  Praeger, 1996), p. 49-88.

Ronald Numbers and Judith Leavitt, "Sickness and Health in
  America: An Overview," p. 3-10 in Numbers and Leavitt,
  eds., Sickness and Health in America: Readings in the
  History of Medicine and Public Health (Madison:
  University of Wisconsin, 1997)

* John Haller, p. 95-210 in Outcasts from Evolution:
  Scientific Attitudes of Racial Inferiority, 1859-1900
  (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1971)

John Hughes, "Labeling and Treating Black Mental Illness in
  Alabama, 1861- 1910," Journal of Southern History 58
  (August 1993): 435-460.

Half of the class will read: (40)

Gaines Foster, "The Limitations of Federal Health Care for
  Freedmen, 1860- 1868," Journal of Southern History 48
  (1982): 349-372.

Sutton Griggs, "On the Dissection Board," p. 139-160 in
  Imperium in Imperio (Miami: Mnemosyne Pub., 1969 –
  reprinted from 1899)

The other half will read: (60)

Michael Sappol, "Sammy Tubbs and Dr. Hubbs: Anatomical
  Dissection, Minstrelry, and the Technology of
  Self-Making in Post-bellum America," Configurations 4
  (1996): 131-183.

Supplemental Readings:

Stuart Gilman, "Degeneracy and Race in the 19th Century: The
  Impact of Clinical Medicine," Journal of Ethnic Studies
  10 (1983): 27-50.

Stephen Jay Gould, "American Polygeny and Craniometry before
  Darwin: Blacks and Indians as Separate, Inferior
  Species," p. 84-115 in Sandra Harding, ed., The "Racial"
  Economy of Science: Toward a Democratic Future
  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993)

W. S. Willis, "Skeletons in the Anthropological Closet," p.
  121-152 in Dell Hymes, ed., Reinventing Anthropology
  (New York: Vintage, 1972).

W. C. Hines, "Dr. Benjamin A. Boseman, Jr.: Charleston's
  Black Physician- Politician," p. 335-362 in H. N.
  Rabinowitz, ed., Southern Black Leaders on the
  Reconstruction Era (Urbana: University of Illinois
  Press, 1982).

M. S. Legan, "Disease and the Freemen in Mississippi During
  Reconstruction," Journal of the History of Medicine and
  Allied Sciences 28 (July 1973): 257-267.


4:  October 7
  DEFINING FOLK PRACTICE: PAST AND PRESENT (130)

From William Postell, The Health of Slaves on Southern
  Plantations (1950)

Elliott Gorn, "Black Magic: Folk Beliefs of the Slave
  Community" p. 295-326 in Ronald Numbers and Todd Savitt,
  eds., Science and Medicine in the Old South (Baton
  Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989)

Sharla Fett, "'It's a Spirit in Me': Spiritual Power and the
  Healing Work of African American Women in Slavery," and
  Yvonne Chireau, "The Uses of the Supernatural: Toward  A
  History of Black Women's Magical Practices," p. 171-188,
  189- 209 in Susan Juster and Lisa MacFarlane, eds., A
  Mighty Baptism: Race, Gender, and the Creation of
  American Protestantism (Ithaca: Cornell University
  Press, 1996)

Linda Janet Holmes, "African American Midwives in the
  South," 273-291 in Pamela Eakins, ed., The American Way
  of Birth (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986)

Onnie Lee Logan and Katherine Clark, "Vocation," p. 77-131
  in Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife's Story (New York:
  Dutton, 1989)

Arna Bontemps, "A Summer Tragedy" (1933), James Weldon
  Johnson, "Go Down Death" (1927), and Pearl Crayton,
  "Cotton Alley" (1969), p. 153-161, 171-173, 213-220  in
  Marian Gray Secundy, Trials, Tribulations, and
  Celebrations: African- American Perspectives on Health,
  Illness, Aging, and Loss (Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural
  Press, 1992)

Supplemental Readings:

Margaret Charles Smith and Linda Janet Holmes, Listen to Me
  Good: The Life Story of an Alabama Midwife (Columbus:
  Ohio State University Press, 1996)

Claude Jacobs, "Healing and Prophecy in the Black Spiritual
  Churches: A Need for Reexamination," Medical
  Anthropology 12 (1990): 349-370.

R. P. Kuna, "Hoodoo: The Indigenous Medicine and Psychiatry
  of the Black American," Ethnomedizin 3 (1974-1975):
  273-294.

Loudell Snow, Walkin' Over Medicine (Boulder: Westview
  Press, 1993)

Suzanne Terrell, This Other Kind of Doctors: Traditional
  Medical Systems in Black Neighborhoods in Austin, Texas
  (New York: AMS Press, 1990)

Arvilla Payne-Jackson and John Lee, Folk Wisdom and Mother
  Wit: John Lee – An African-American Herbal Healer
  (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993)

Wilbur H. Watson, "Introduction," in  Black Folk Medicine:
  The Therapeutic Significance of Faith and Trust (New
  Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1984)


5:  October 14 SCIENCE, INHERITANCE, AND FITNESS FOR THE
  CENTURY (240)

* Edward Larson, Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the
  Deep South (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
  1995)

Keith Wailoo, "Detecting Negro Blood: Black and White
  Identities and the Reconstruction of Sickle Cell Anemia"
  p. 134-161 in Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease
  Identity in Twentieth-Century America (Baltimore: Johns
  Hopkins University Press, 1997)

Tera Hunter, "Tuberculosis as the 'Negro Servant's Disease'"
  p. 187-218 in To 'Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women's
  Lives and Labors After the Civil War (Cambridge: Harvard
  University Press, 1997)

Charles Chestnutt, "A Victim of Heredity," p. 172-182 in The
  Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales (1899) (Durham:
  Duke University Press, 1993)

Supplemental Readings:

Alan Marcus, "The South's Native Foreigners: Hookworm as a
  Factor in Southern Distinctiveness," p. 79-99 in Savitt
  and Young, eds., Disease and Distinctiveness in the
  American South (Knoxville: University of Tennessee
  Press, 1988)

James Breeden, "Joseph Jones and Public Health in the New
  South," Louisiana History 32 (1991): 341-370.

John Ettling, The Germ of Laziness: Rockefeller Philanthropy
  and Public Health in the New South (Cambridge: Harvard
  University Press, 1981)

Margaret Humphreys, Yellow Fever and the South (New
  Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1992)


6:  October 21 POLITICS: RACIAL HEALTH IN THE URBAN
  VILLAGE (270)

Edward Beardsley, p. 1-155 in History of Neglect: Health
  Care for Blacks and Mill Workers in the
  Twentieth-Century South (Knoxville: University of
  Tennessee Press, 1987)

* Darlene Clark Hine, p. 1-86 in Black Women in White:
  Racial Conflict and Cooperation in the Nursing
  Profession, 1890-1950 (Bloomington: University of
  Indiana Press, 1989)

Pete Daniel, "Black Power in the 1920s: The Case of the
  Tuskegee Veterans Hospital," Journal of Southern History
  35 (1972): 368-388.

Supplemental Readings:

Stuart Galishoff, "Germs Know No Color Line: Black Health
  and Public Policy in Atlanta, 1900-1918," Journal of the
  History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 40 (1985):
  22-41.

Thomas Mays, "Human Slavery as a Prevention of Pulmonary
  Consumption," Transactions of the American
  Climatological Association 20 (1904): 192-197.

Vanessa Gamble, Making a Place for Ourselves: The Black
  Hospital Movement, 1920-1945 (New York: Oxford
  University Press, 1994)

Howard Epps, "The Howard University Medical Department in
  the Flexner Era, 1910-1929," Journal of the National
  Medical Association 81 (1989): 885-911.

Steven Noll, "Southern Strategies for Treating the Black
  Feeble-Minded: From Social Control to Profound
  Indifference," Journal of Policy History 3 (1991):
  130-151.

Reginald Peniston and Otelio Randall, "Coronary Artery
  Disease in Black Americans, 1920-1960: The Shaping of
  Medical Opinion," Journal of the National Medical
  Association 81 (1989): 591-600.

E. Mayfield Boyle, "The Negro and Tuberculosis," Journal of
  the National Medical Association 4 (1912): 344-348.

Mitchell Rice and Woodrow Jones, Public Policy and the Black
  Hospital: From Slavery to Segregation to Integration
  (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994)


7:  October 28    MIDTERM EXAM


8:  November 4 ECONOMICS – PRICING RACIAL HEALTH (180)

Walter Weare, p. 3-153 in Black Business in the New South: A
  Social History of the North Carolina Mutual Life
  Insurance Company (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993)

Elizabeth Etheridge, "Pellagra: An Unappreciated Reminder of
  Southern Distinctiveness," p. 100-119 in Savitt and
  Young, eds., Disease and Distinctiveness in the American
  South.

W. E. B. Dubois, "The Health of Black Folk" Crisis 40
  (February 1933): 31.

Louis Dublin, "The Problem of Negro Health as Revealed by
  Vital Statistics," Journal of Negro Education 6 (1937):
  268-275.

Supplemental Readings:

John Stanfield, "Sponsorship and Blacks in Medical
  Education: A Political History of Race Philanthrophy,"
  Research in Social Policy: Historical and Contemporary
  Perspectives 4 (1996): 173-208.

Deitrich Reitzes, Negroes and Medicine (Cambridge: Harvard
  University Press, 1958)

Richard Brown, Rockefeller Medicine Men: Medicine and
  Capitalism in America (Berkeley: University of
  California Press, 1979)


November 11 –   No Class – Veterans' Day Holiday


9:  November 18 DISEASE, THE DEPRESSION, AND A CHANGING
  LANDSCAPE OF SOUTHERN RACE RELATIONS (200)

Edward Beardsley, "The Federal Rescue of Southern Health
  Programs, 1933- 1955," and "Desegregating Southern
  Medicine, 1945-1970," p. 156-185, 245-272, in A History
  of Neglect.

* Darlene Clark Hine, p. 108-193 in Black Women in White.

James Jones, "The Joy of My Life," p. 151-170 in Bad Blood:
  The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New York: Free Press,
  1983)

W. Montague Cobb, Progress and Portents for the Negro in
  Medicine (New York: NAACP, 1948), 1-53.

Supplemental Readings:

E. L. Cerroni-Long, "Benign Neglect? Anthropology and the
  Study of Blacks in the United States," Journal of Black
  Studies 17 (June 1987): 438-459.

I. A. Newby, Challenge to the Court: Social Scientists and
  the Defense of Segregation, 1954-1966 (Baton Rouge:
  Louisiana State University Press, 1969)

David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz, Children, Race, and
  Power: Kenneth and Mamie Clark's Northside Center
  (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1996)

Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma (New York: Harper and
  Row, 1944)


10:  November 25 PICTURING THE DELTA (370)

* James Cobb, The Most Southern Place on Earth: The
  Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Southern Identity
  (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992)

Robert Coles, "In the South These Children Prophesy,"
  "Children in Mississippi," and "A Psychiatrist Joins
  'the Movement'," p. 148-162, 170-177, 242-256 in
  Farewell to the South (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co.,
  1972)

Mike Thelwell, "Bright an' Mownin' Star," (1966) p. 270-283
  in Marian Gray Secundy, ed., Trials, Tribulations, and
  Celebrations: African-American Perspectives on Health,
  Illness, Aging and Loss (Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural
  Press, 1992)

Supplemental Reading:

Robert Coles, Children Of Crisis: A Study of Courage and
  Fear (Boston: Brown, Little, 1967)

Dewey Grantham, The South in Modern America: A Region at
  Odds (New York: Harper Collins, 1994)


11:  December 2 THE POLITICS OF RUMOR, SUFFERING, AND
  MEMORY (300)

* Spencie Love, One Blood: The Death and Resurrection of
  Charles R. Drew (Chapel Hill: University of North
  Carolina Press, 1995)

James Jones, "'I Ain't Never Understood the Study," and
  "AIDS: Is it Genocide?" pgs. 206-241 in Bad Blood: The
  Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New York: Free Press,
  1983)

Supplemental Reading:

Howard Odum, Race and Rumors of Race: Challenge to American
  Crisis (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
  1943); reissued as Race and Rumors of Race: The American
  South in the Early Forties (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
  University Press, reissued 1997)

Martha Solomon, "The Rhetoric of Dehumanization: An Analysis
  of Medical Reports of the Tuskegee Syphilis Project,"
  Western Journal of Speech Communication 49 (1985):
  233-247.


12:  December 9 FROM SOUTH TO "SOUTHSIDE" (260)

* Laurie Abraham, Mama Might Be Better Off Dead: The Failure
  of Health Care in Urban America (Chicago: University of
  Chicago Press, 1993)

Supplemental Reading:

James Grossman, Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners,
  and the Great Migration (Chicago: University of Chicago
  Press, 1989)

Allan Spear, Black Chicago: The Making of a Negro Ghetto,
  1890-1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967)


13:  December 16 BIOLOGY, ILLNESS, AND LEGEND (100) **

Sherman James, S. Harnett, and W. D. Kalsbeek, "John
  Henryism and Blood Differences Among Black Men," Journal
  of Behavioral Medicine 6 (1983): 259-278.

Guy B. Johnson, "The John Henry Tradition," "On the Trail of
  John Henry," "John Henry and the Big Bend Tunnel," and
  "John Henry: Man or Myth?" in John Henry: Tracking Down
  a Negro Legend (Chapel Hill: University of North
  Carolina Press, 1929), p. 1-54.

Simon Watney, "Missionary Positions: AIDS, 'Africa,' and
  Race," p. 89-100 in R. Ferguson, ed., Out There:
  Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures (Cambridge,
  MA: MIT Press, 1990).

Patricia King, "The Dilemma of Difference," Jon Beckwith,
  "The Responsibility of Scientists in the Genetics and
  Race Controversies," Fatimah Jackson, "Assessing the
  Human Genome Project: An African-American and
  Bioanthropological Critique," and Georgia M. Dunston,
  "G-RAP: A Model HBCU Genomic Research and Training
  Program," p. 75-81, 83-94, 95-103, 105-110 in Edward
  Smith and Walter Sapp, eds., Plain Talk about the Human
  Genome Project: A Tuskegee University Conference on the
  Promise and Perils… and Matters of Race (Tuskegee:
  Tuskegee University, 1997).

Philip Curtin, "The Slavery Hypothesis for Hypertension
  Among African- Americans: The Historical Evidence,"
  American Journal of Public Health 82 (December 1992):
  1681-1686.

** RESEARCH PAPER DUE BY 5:00 P.M. TODAY IN MY OFFICE.

** IN TODAY'S CLASS, THE GENERAL THEMES OF THE TAKE-HOME
  FINAL WILL BE DISCUSSED.

Supplemental Readings:

Daniel Kevles, "Geneticists, Race, and IQ: Historical
  Reflections from Binet to 'The Bell Curve'," Contention:
  Debates in Society, Culture, and Science 5 (1995): 3-18.

Evelyn Hammonds, "Race, Sex, and AIDS: The Construction of
  'Other'," Radical America 20 (1987): 28-36.

Doris Wilkinson and Gary King, "Conceptual and
  Methodological Issues in the Use of Race as a Variable:
  Policy Implications," Milbank Quarterly 65 (1987):
  56-71.

Paul Farmer, AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of
  Blame (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992)


December 18 – January 3:     WINTER RECESS


January 16-21:      FINAL ESSAY ASSIGNED AND DUE
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