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Medical Apartheid by Harriet A. Washington
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Medical Apartheid

The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present

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Narrator Ron Butler
Length 19 hours 1 minute
Language English
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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 knowledgeโ€”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 were used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks.


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.

Harriet A. Washington has been a fellow in ethics at the Harvard Medical School, a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University. As a journalist and editor, she has worked for USA Today and several other publications, has been a Knight Fellow at Stanford University, and has written for such academic forums as the Harvard Public Health Review and the New England Journal of Medicine. She lives in New York City.

Ron Butler is a Los Angeles-based actor and voice artist with over a hundred film and television credits (playing everything from brooding doctors to screwball hipsters). Most kids will recognize him from the three seasons he spent on Nickelodeon's True Jackson, VP. Ron works regularly as a commercial and animation voice-over artist and has voiced a wide variety of audiobooks. He is a member of the Atlantic Theater Company and an Independent Filmmaker Project Award winner for his work in the HBO film Everyday People. Originally from the Bahamas, Ron grew up singing calypso onstage with his father (the country's number-one recording artist) before touring (and recording) in Europe with a jazz band. In his spare time, he impersonates the president while playing the ukulele.

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