Carnegie Mellon University

Ezelle Sanford

Ezelle Sanford

Assistant Professor, History

  • Baker Hall 239B
  • 412-268-6103


Dr. Ezelle Sanford III is an Assistant Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University and Visiting Assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University. His scholarship sits at the intersection of African American, medical, and urban histories. He is particularly interested in histories of race, science, and medicine from the 19th century to the present.  He is currently working on a book project, Segregated Medicine: How Racial Politics Shaped American Healthcare, which utilizes the case of St. Louis’s Homer G. Phillips Hospital, America’s largest segregated hospital in the mid-twentieth century, to trace how the logic and legacy of racial segregation established structures of healthcare inequality that persist to this day. His work has been featured in popular and academic publications and has received several fellowships and awards.


Publication List:
Remembering Nurse Eunice Rivers Laurie, the Black Face of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and Why She is an Important Figure for Students to Know
Hogarth, Rana A., Medicalizing Blackness: Making Racial Difference in the Atlantic World, 1780–1840 ( Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017) Newman, Brooke N., A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 2018) Seth, Suman, Difference and Disease: Medicine, Race, and the Eighteenth-Century British Empire ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)
Cited in: COVID-19 and the rebiologisation of racial difference
Williams, J. Corey, Nientara Anderson, Terrell Holloway, Ezelle Sanford III, Myra Mathis, Jeffrey Eugene, and Jessica Isom. “Reopening the United States: Black and  Hispanic Workers Are Essential  and Expendable Again. American Journal of Public Health, 110, no. 10 (September 9, 2020): 1506–8.
“Re-Thinking the Black Hospital: Race, Community, and Healing in the Jim Crow and Contemporary Eras.” Slideshow: The Journal of the Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors            Fellowship, May 2012, 25–38.
Sanford III, Ezelle. “Hospitals.” The World of Jim Crow America: A Daily Life Encyclopedia by Steven A. Reich.  Daily Life Encyclopedias. ABC-CLIO, Incorporated, 2019.
2020 (Peer Reviewed)
Carter, Chelsey, and Ezelle Sanford III. “The Myth of Black Immunity: Racialized Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Black Perspectives: The African American Intellectual History Society Blog, April 3, 2020.
“Black Inventors: A Broader View.” National Geographic, February 2020.
“History’s Treatment of Black Inventors Has Evolved. But It’s Still Imperfect.” Undark Magazine, February 2019.
Sanford III, Ezelle. “Over-Capacity Premiere of Homer G. Phillips Hospital Documentary Felt Like Family Reunion.” St. Louis American. April 13, 2018.
2017 (Peer Reviewed)
Sanford III, Ezelle. “Civil Rights and Health Care:  Remembering Simkins V. Cone (1963)” Black Perspectives:The African American Intellectual History Society Blog, February (2017). 
Media Appearances
Wolfson, Elizabeth, Chelsey Carter, and Ezelle Sanford III. Episode 2: The Myth of Black Immunity in The Divided City, A Discussion with Dr. Ezelle Sanford III & Chelsey Carter. Podcast. Informal History. St. Louis, MO, 2020.
Fitzpatrick, Joyce, and Brian Shackleford. The Color of Medicine: The Story of Homer G. Phillips Hospital. Film, Documentary, 2018.
Loehrer, Mark, Umar Lee, Ezelle Sanford III, and Virvus Jones. Episode 21: Ezelle Sanford III & Virvus Jones: The Homer G. Philips Hospital Story. Podcast. St. Louis Speaks. St. Louis, MO, 2018.
Other Projects
Penn Medicine and the Afterlives of Slavery (PMAS) Project
Homer G. Phillips Oral History Project
  • Audio recorded and transcribed oral history interviews with St. Louisans who worked in and around Homer G. Phillips Hospital.  Interviews are stored and accessible in the Department of Special Collections at Washington University  in St. Louis.
Researcher, Princeton University LGBTQIA Oral History Project
  • Audio recorded and transcribed oral history interviews of Midwestern LGBTQIA Princeton alumni.  Interviews are accessible in Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University.

Courses Taught

  • Health, Healers, and Hospitals:  Medicine and Society

Department Member Since: 2021