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ERIC Number: EJ764748
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jul-27
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
The Secrets of St. Agnes
Ross, Janell
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v23 n12 p14-17 Jul 2006
This article reveals the disturbing truths uncovered by a retired biology professor about the past practices of a North Carolina hospital. In the 1990s, Irene Clark was a biology professor at St. Augustine's College, a historically Black college in Raleigh, North Carolina. One day, a janitor asked the native Virginian what she knew about the crumbling, windowless stone building at the edge of campus. The crumbling building was St. Agnes Hospital, a place once regarded as the best medical facility for Blacks between Hampton, Virginia, and New Orleans. This was the place where hundreds of Black women learned to be nurses and thousands of Black babies were born. It was a hospital where some of the area's best-known doctors--Black and White, male and female--got their start. However the hospital also played a role in the sterilization of thousands of poor and mentally ill patients, as well as other people the state of North Carolina considered socially undesirable, as a darker piece of the famed hospital's history revealed this year. Clark found the basis for the latest chapter in her unpublished manuscript about St. Agnes--in the records of the Eugenics Board of North Carolina. The records proved that St. Agnes and its staff were active participants in North Carolina's eugenics program--a program that led to the sterilization of at least 7,600 people between 1929 and 1973. This year, St. Augustine has restarted an effort to restore the remains of the hospital. The project will likely be too expensive for the college to cover on its own. Clark is on the committee trying to raise the funds. It may be hard for people to reconcile the legacies of St. Agnes and its physicians with the facts revealed by the Eugenics Board records, Clark says.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina