Rooted in Enslavement: How American Medicine Was Built on the Oppression, Experimentation and Commodification of the Black Body


The Black body has been exploited as a tool by others since the first enslaved Africans were brought to the shores of Virginia in 1619. Many industries such as cotton, sugar cane and tobacco were built on the backs of Black people to create the wealth inequality that we see today. What is seldom discussed is the many ways in which the fields of healthcare and medicine were also developed and continue to flourish under the same systems of enslavement and Jim Crow. Dante King, a Bay Area expert in the advancement of equity, inclusion, and equality, will discuss the history and experiences of the enslaved and their descendants, and how the Medical Industrial Complex owes its development, foundation, and success to the experimentation and commodification of Black bodies.

*Link to remote access available at the end of the page. This event will be recorded and available to those who sign up for our newsletter. You can also view all event summaries and records in the news section of our website. 

*Please be aware that a member of the press (REVEAL News) will be in attendance at this event and recording audio for reporting purposes. 

Kente Collaboratories

The Kente Collaboratories is a 3 part series on the past, present and future of Blackness in American medicine and healthcare. 

The Kente cloth has long been representative of belonging to the African Diaspora, especially in the United States, for those who have had their genealogy and familial ties broken through the process of enslavement in the Americas.

The goal in using the Kente cloth as a representation of the series is to highlight the unity between those born of African American and African parentage building a bridge between African Americans, and others from the African Diaspora who consistently work within and fight for equity and respect in healthcare.

Given that UCSF is an institution of higher learning and known for being a world class healthcare provider, we will focus on the Medical Industrial Complex impact and influence in the following three areas, past, present, and future of healthcare at UCSF and the larger Black Community.

Remote access ticket is available.



4:30 - 5:00pm | Refreshments served

5:00 - 6:30pm | Presentations and discussion

Keynote Speakers:

Dante King

Dante King

Dante is the leader of Culture, Equity, Employee Experience and Engagement at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, providing overall direction on racial equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives across 10 divisions, supporting more than 6,000 employees; as well as executive cultural competence and professional development coaching and support to 10 executive leaders, and more than 90 senior managers. Learn more at

Remote Access

Our Collaboratories are available for full participation online. If you're not able to make it in person, please join us online through Zoom. You may register for a remote access ticket, here. Remote participation information:

Join from a PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android device:

Meeting ID: 887 408 549

US: +1 669 900 6833
 or +1 646 558 8656

Every month we host free discussions on the science and social impact of birth, open to UCSF and the public. Sign Up for our email list to stay up to date on events!