Posts tagged with "african american"

The Medical Mistreatment of Black People

Vertus Wellborn Hardiman was the victim of an unethical secret U.S government radiation experiment in 1928. Hardiman was born on March 9, 1922 in Lyles Station, Ind., known as one of the earliest Negro settlements in the United States. When Hardiman was five years old, he was one of nine children that took part in a terrifying medical experiment, where he and other children were severely irradiated during a medical experiment conducted at the local county hospital. To get parental consent the experiment was misrepresented as a new therapy for the scalp fungus known as ringworm.

The radiation of the skull led to immediate symptoms but also to a severe progressive necrosis of the bone all through his life. At the time, many human radiation experiments were conducted on African Americans and were funded by the United States Department of Defense and United States Atomic Energy Commission. Experiments included feeding radioactive food to disabled children, inserting radium rods into school children and injecting pregnant women and babies with radioactive chemicals. The studies were classified until 1986, when they were released in the report entitled “America Nuclear Guinea Pigs: Three Decades of Radiation Experiments.” The treatment on Hardiman’s skull left him with progressive necrosis of the scalp throughout the rest of his life. These types of experiments led to distrust of the medical community among African Americans that lingers on today.

Editor’s note: contributed by Charmaine Simpson, Black History Studies

Read the expanded report below from STAT, a publication reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine.

Listen: Vertus Hardiman and the medical tragedies that must not be forgotten

“In this final episode of Color Code, we speak with Smith about his dear friend Vertus and the documentary they made more than a decade ago, “Hole in the Head: A Life Revealed.” We also hear from Linda Villarosa, a contributor to The New York Times Magazine and author of “Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation.” She tells us about the story of the Relf sisters, who were sterilized without their consent in 1973, and shares her thoughts on the medical mistreatment of Black people like Vertus Hardiman.”

An African American Guide Back To The Motherland

As the world turns, communities from across our oceans are longing to connect with each other. This is especially true for many African Americans taking the leap to journey back to Africa. The back to Africa movement is not new. After emancipation Abraham Lincoln sought to relocate newly freed Black people back to Africa. Although the move was largely rejected by many Black leaders of that time, the honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey was instrumental in the push to make this a reality for Black people in the western hemisphere.

Marcus Garvey and his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), represent the largest mass movement in African-American history. Proclaiming a black nationalist “Back to Africa” message, Garvey and the UNIA established 700 branches in thirty-eight states by the early 1920s.”

Today, the best way to make this dream for some a reality is with sincere preparation. And thanks to Professor Joseph Mbele of Olaf College in Minnesota, who has amassed decades worth of knowledge on the subject, including being an expert on culture and folklore, created a study guide to help those journeying back to the Motherland.

The link to the course:

ePa had an opportunity to interview Professor Mbele on his new course study focused on preparing African Americans for their journey back to Africa.

Part I

Part II

Part III