In 1932, while battling the residual effects of slavery, institutional racism, poverty, Black Codes, white supremacist violence and a host of other abuse, the United States Public Health Service (PHS) initiated a study for potential treatments of sexually transmitted diseases. The test subjects were men solicited by the Tuskegee Institute. Six hundred Black men from Macon County were enrolled, expecting promises of free medical exams, meals and burial insurance to be fulfilled. Sounds promising, right?
Of course there was one problem: the men that were brought into the experiment either had no knowledge that they were infected with syphilis or were injected with syphilis so doctors could study the affects of the disease on humans. These men were simply told that they had “bad blood.”
Over the course of the forty year long experiment more than 120 men were estimated to have died from untreated syphilis. Dozens of wives and children were residually infected as well. Dehumanizing medical malpractice by way of racist, white supremacist practitioners resulted in yet another state-sanctioned genocide. Because clearly we haven’t experienced enough of those.
Never Forget #005: Sojourner Truth Was One of the First Black Feminists
Never Forget #004: Eartha Kitt Made Lady Bird Johnson Cry…And Got Blackballed for It
Never Forget #003: Everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany Was Legal
Never Forget #002: COINTELPRO
Never Forget #001: Lincoln Never Loved Us