By now many people know about the different types of #experiments that were done on African slaves and other African-American people. However, when speaking of #experiments on Blacks most people think of the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and a few other well-known experiments. There were many other studies and experiments done on #Black people as well. Some of these experiments on the list you might know, but there a couple you might not know.
1. Experiments on John Brown by his Master
A former slave, John Brown, described the experiment done on him by his master, Dr. Thomas Hamilton of Georgia. Brown described being made to sit naked on the top of a burning pit on a stool as part of Dr. Hamilton’s experiment. The temperature reached 100 degrees and Brown passed, then the supposedly good doctor stood by to determine how deep black skin blistered by observing Brown’s hands and feet. Before Brown passed there were many other experiments performed on him by his master as well. (Carnell, 2014)
2. Experiments on Sick Slaves
Not only were slave owners conducting #experiments on slaves, but hospitals were doing it as well. In the 1850s, Dr. T. Stillman placed an ad for “sick Negroes” and slave masters were happy to hand over any ill or elderly slaves who could no longer work. During this time, it was viewed as a win-win situation, especially if slave owners were actually able to get back sick slaves who had been healed. But, if the slaves were not able to return and died the hospital paid for their burial. The slaves were given no rights or legal rights.
3. Doses of Toxic Plutonium and Uranium Given to Blacks
In 1945, there was a black truck driver named Ebb Cade who was in an accident. Almost all of Cade’s bones were broken during the accident. While he was being treated at the hospital he was given a toxic dose of plutonium. Before the plutonium destroyed Cade’s body, he must have heard about the experiment and escaped from the hospital. He didn’t know it but he was the first to be given the deadly dosage— but he was not the last. There were many African-American guinea pigs who followed behind him, and these blacks were either injected with uranium or plutonium as part of a radiation experiment. Former Secretary of Energy Hazel O’Leary declassified information on government experiments on unsuspecting African-Americans.
4. Prisons Conduct Experiments on Blacks that Lead Later to Cancer and other Illnesses
During the 1970’s, prisons conducted experiments on prisoners, most of who were black. At Philadelphia Holmesburg prison, Dow Chemical paid to test potential carcinogens on the black prison population. Many prisoners developed cancer, mental illness and skin conditions.
5. The Removal of Fannie Lou Hamer’s Uterus without Consent
Most people know about the experiment conducted on Fannie Lou Hamer, if not here it is again. Fannie Lou Hamer while on the plantation developed a knot on her stomach. She went to see the doctor and while under his care he removed her uterus. So, she would never be able to have children. The people at the main house knew all about it, and the wife of the slave owner joked that “the knot Hamer lost was not all,” the word soon got back to Hamer. Hamer went on to become a voting and civil rights activist. Hamer was only one of many African-American women who were sterilized, a practice which became a favorite of white doctors. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, trafficked in stereotypes and used the Negro Project to decrease black fertility.
6. Experiments on Troubled Black Teens with Fenfluramine
The Johnson’s received a knock on their door from researchers from Columbia University. They wanted to interview their son Isaac, who had been held in a detention center. The parents signed off on the interview, which they were told would be used just to determine whether Isaac might have medical problems. The parents did not know it at the time but Isaac was given fenfluramine, which causes serotonin levels to increase.