On Jan. 12th, Wake Forest University hosted a screening of the film, “The State of Eugenics.” The film documents North Carolina’s eugenics program and the successful campaign to obtain compensation for the survivors of this program.
For much of the 20th century, eugenics was a widely-accepted practice in the United States, endorsed by the Supreme Court in the 1927 Buck v. Bell decision. North Carolina ran one of the most aggressive eugenics programs, sterilizing more than 7,600 men, women, and children between 1933 and 1974. The state targeted people of color, the poor and disabled and stole their right to reproduce right up until the 1970s. After a long campaign by survivors, legislators, and journalists working together, in 2013, the state passed a law to compensate survivors of these injustices. For more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323971204578629943220881914
After the screening, Melissa Harris-Perry hosted a panel featuring the film’s Director/Producer Dawn Sinclair Shapiro, former state legislator Larry Womble, former chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Sterilization Compensation Dr. Laura Gerald, Winston-Salem Journal editorial-page editor John Railey and journalist Tommy Tomlinson. Larry Womble received a framed copy of the 2013 NC compensation bill from Senator Thom Tillis.
This event was co-sponsored by the Journalism Program, the Anna Julia Cooper Center, the graduate Documentary Film Program, the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Wake Forest School of Law, the Women’s Center, the Humanities Institute, the Department of History, the Department of Politics and International Affairs, the American Ethnic Studies Program, and the Center for Bioethics, Health and Society.
Please see pictures from this wonderful event below: