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Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies
Saturday 1:45 p.m., Regal 2 Downtown Mall
2011. USA. 63 min. Director: Shawn O. Utsey.
Grave robbing and bodysnatching for purposes of medical dissection was widespread in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. In the 1800s, Richmond, Virginia was a bustling market in the slave trade, and had become a literal black market, trafficking in black bodies - both living and dead. African American cemeteries were especially vulnerable and produced most of the anatomical material for the Medical College of Virginia. These stories are so indelibly etched into the psyches of African Americans that today many long-time Richmond residents still recount stories from their childhood of warnings to stay clear of MCV late at night for fear that they might be snatched away to the dissecting room never to be seen again.
Discussion with Shawn O. Utsey (VCU)