Arts + Culture

From Slavery to Freedom Film Series: “Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine & the Exploitation of Black Bodies”

Apr 11, 2018 - Apr 11, 2018 | 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

The practice of grave robbing for purposes of medical dissection was widespread in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Those individuals whose job it was to secure bodies for dissecting labs in medical colleges were known as “Resurrectionists.” During the 1800s, Richmond, Virginia was a bustling market for the domestic trade of enslaved Africans. It had become a literal black market in black bodies, both living and dead. This powerful documentary brings attention to issues relating to medical ethics or lack thereof, as it pertains historically to the African American community, and encourages discussion about what has changed. The documentary’s producer and director, Dr. Shawn Utsey of Virginia Commonwealth University, will lead a discussion of his film and “Resurrectionism.” Visitors can also see the new From Slavery to Freedom Garden at the Frick Environmental Center, which showcases plants used for food and medicinal purposes by freedom seekers during the 18th and 19th centuries. This event is free, and no pre-registration is required.

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