We can partially blame the atrocious experimental research conducted by the doctors exposed by Skloot on the era of American culture in which their research took place in. A time in America’s history where places like The Hospital of the Negro Insane and the belief that your doctor is always right existed and patient advocacy and informed written consent forms did not. Individual and population rights were considered a joke for African American at this time. Throughout the book, black Americans were victims of medical experimentation undisclosed to them. The same is true in the time Henrietta Lacks spent in John Hopkins hospital.
The medical division of the Freedmen’s Bureau provided hospitals and doctors for newly freed people but their racist ideologies followed them, “... many Bureau physicians seemed to harbor beliefs that black people were inherently inferior and susceptible to certain illnesses…”(19). The medical professionals that were meant to aid emancipated slaves took a bias approach that made them incapable of actually helping them. These beliefs continued and the wide spread disease and illness that plagued newly freed slaves led some to believe that African Americans were ill-equipped to handle freedom (Roberts 633 of 4234). Despite the inaccuracy of this belief, it goes to show how the ideology of the United States was not prepared for the emancipation of slaves. This resulted in unequal services, segregated housing and inequalities in political representation which contributed to overall health inequities but more importantly it contributed to the foundation of the problems that Americans face
Actual reasoning for the way whites handled African Americans was also shown in the novel March. Grace, a black slave in march, wanted an education for her daughter, but Mr. Clement denied her the request. “”I asked Mr. March to instruct Prudence. I urged him to do it, against his own judgment and inclination.”” (Brooks 37). Against education, Mr. Clement was furious with March teaching Prudence without his consent.
According to Wise,“For people of color, calling out the police for help was a dicey proposition, mostly because they could never know whether help is what they’d receive as opposed to brutality and mistreatment” (Wise 141). According to another author from Business NH Magazine, Brenda Lett, she states “We are held back, and hold ourselves back, by deciding not to work collectively to address the lie of superiority and inferiority based on skin color.” (Mowry 61). Students race matters. If people did not notice about their race, is like pretending not to see the consequences for this students. They knew that they are “the other” before they were called “the other”.
Rand Paul once said “The government has a history of not treating people fairly, from the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II to African-Americans in the Civil Rights era.”(Brainy Quotes). In Louisiana, receiving equal rights was probably considered impossible in the 1960’s. Segregation was insurmountable to escape; everywhere you turned there were signs stating “Whites Only” or “Colored Entrance”. The blacks, although citizens of the United States, were still separated unfairly. Citizens that did nothing to deserve the discrimination they drew in by others were ridiculed for the color of their skin, the way they were born.
During the 1950’s African American’s had a difficult time living in a world where they were seen to be lesser of a human being than what they were. They were treated differently in normal everyday lives as well as in the medical world. Henrietta Lacks was a woman who was greatly affected by this divide between whites and African-Americans. Because of the color of her skin, I believe she was not treated to the best of the doctor’s ability, and instead just used for indirect experimentation. In Rebecca Skloot’s novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, she gives examples of how African-Americans were treated differently, a few of those include; the conditions of John Hopkins, the African-American medical experiments, and Hector Henry.
Today, you can see that many discrimination towards African American peoples were not resolved because people realize, there was racism occurring in their society, but other societies might disagree. In the article, “No Such Place as ‘Post- Racial America”, by TOURE, describes how she begs the peoples of calling America ‘post racial’ because it is not. Race is
As bad as it was to let people see this, Till’s mother, Mamie knew it would inspire a lot of black people to stand up for themselves. “ Let the world see what has happened, because there is no way I could describe this”- Mamie Till. She was explaining that no one would know how bad the murder was if they didn’t see for themselves. She was saying that she couldn’t even explain how wrong it was for someone to do that. famous-trials.com.
A three-hundred-year history of slavery in America led to a psychological oppression of black people in America, which still exists today. Toni Morrison decides not to delineate how white dominance has affected African-Americans culturally yet she challenges American standards of white beauty and how that beauty is socially constructed within our culture. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison uses society’s image of beauty to demonstrate how the value of black beauty is diminished by racial prejudices and dilemmas through the lives of Pecola Breedlove, Claudia and Frieda MacTeer, whose young minds were affected by this internalized idea that the color of your skin determined how perfect or worthy you were seen, not to yourself and on the inside, but
The women that do try to report prison guards end up even more damaged when their violators go unpunished. In a small study done on sexual abuse in US prisons, of the complaints that women filed, only 18% of male prison guards ended up with some type of punishment (Isaac, Lockhart, Williams). This lack of discipline for brutal crimes against black women sends a message to black women in prison is that they are invaluable. It “perpetuates the degrading images of black women as ‘unnatural, dirty, sick, and sinful’”