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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

In one of the biggest medical scandals of all time, starting in 1932, poor, rural Black men infected with syphilis were denied treatment so doctors could study the progression of the disease. The participants thought they were getting free health care from the US government and were not told they had the disease. Twenty-eight men died as a direct result of syphilis; 100 died of related complications; 40 wives were infected; and 19 children were born with congenital syphilis.

  • Learning for Justice Teaching Hard History Podcast, by Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries for Learning for Justice. This podcast provides educators with concrete ways to address “hard history,” from chattel slavery to the victories of and violent responses to the Civil Rights movement, to the present day. In Episode 13 Season 4, “Medical Racism: A Legacy of Malpractice,” award-winning historian Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens details a chronology of medical malpractice and racist misconceptions about health while highlighting lesser-known stories of medical innovations by African Americans.
  • Rethinking Schools Article Medical Apartheid: Teaching the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, by Gretchen Kraig-Turner. This essay, from a high school Science teacher for Rethinking Schools, explains how she approaches the teaching of the Tuskegee Syphilis study and of medical apartheid more broadly.