Day 20 – A Red Book: Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
“From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.
Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.
The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.” (Medical Apartheid, Goodreads description)
My copy: Medical Apartheid, paperback 528 pages
Absolutely watch the two videos. They are informative and chilling. We really have some work to do in the United States concerning race relations and being aware of OUR history!
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4 Replies to “#ReadSoulLit Photo Challenge Day 20 – A Red Book”
I have read this book but reading your review of it reminds me of Home by Toni Morrison, the book is very small easy to finish in one evening – I have never been so scared in my life reading about this lady who was unknowingly used for medical research.
The evil of human kind is unlimited… Thanks for sharing this as it helps us to understand how deep rooted some issues are.
Yes I agree. Home was chilling. I wanted that doctor to get punched out by the brother. This is a very dark part of American history that is virtually unspoken of. This is why I added the videos so that people could get a good sense of this topic. Thanks for commenting!
It is funny how many books I struggle to remember the details but that book I just can’t shake it off. But you know, it opened my eyes beyond America to the African continent. There was a case of a major pharmaceutical company a few years a go in Nigeria doing similar stuff. And also this other book set in Kenya haha ‘Constant Gardener’ I read the book and watched the movie – all I could think was God, where is your eyes? Very sad especially when people have no clue what they are getting into and no one to monitor or safe them.
So true. This is why we have to keep supporting black authors. Our stories need to be told authentically and need to be acknowledged. Thanks again for your comments!
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