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WSSU Showcases Eugenics Exhibit

5:55 PM, Aug 20, 2007   |    comments
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Winston-Salem, NC - A new exhibit showcases a dim part of North Carolina's history.
 
The state's eugenics program is on display at Winston-Salem State University. 

Between 1929 and 1974, doctors sterilized more than 7,000 unknowing men and women, preventing mostly black youth from having children for socioeconomic reasons.

"Many of them were on welfare," said Forsyth County Representative Larry Womble.  "They said some of them may be feeble-minded or suffer from epilepsy which would prevent them from being productive citizens."

Representative Womble has been instrumental in creating a bill that would compensate the few remaining eugenics survivors.  Under the bill, survivors would receive $50,000 each, free counseling and health care.  Legislators will vote in May.

Meanwhile, you can view the complete history of the state's eugenics and sterilization program at Winston-Salem State University.  It's on display in the F.L. Atkins building through January 2008.  The exhibit is free.

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