Texas Tech University

Honors College Welcomes Author Harriet A. Washington to Discuss Her Book, 'Medical Apartheid'

Anna Hedges

February 12, 2021

A shot of the McClellan Hall Honors College.

A Black History Month event, the public lecture will be held via Zoom.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Honors College at Texas Tech University has invited esteemed author Harriet A. Washington to discuss her award-winning book, “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to Present” in a virtual public lecture.

The lecture is available to the entire Lubbock community and will take place via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 16th.

“Medical Apartheid” details the full history of the mistreatment of Black Americans as unwilling experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. The book is the product of years of research into medical journals and experimental reports, which reveals the dark side of scientific research and the roots of the African American health deficit.

“We are so honored Ms. Washington will be delivering a public talk on the history of racial injustices perpetrated on Black bodies in the name of medicine and scientific inquiry,” said Aliza Wong, interim dean of the Honors College. “In the age of COVID-19, the disproportionately high numbers of cases and deaths because of coronavirus in the African American community means it's critical for us to be engaged, as a community, in discussions about disparities in access to the vaccines.”

Washington is a writer and medical ethicist and is currently a Bennet Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. “Medical Apartheid” won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction. She also authored “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind.”

Washington will discuss issues of racial justice and public health. The public lecture will be followed by a moderated Q&A session with the audience.

“It is imperative that we, as a nation, directly acknowledge and fervently participate in Black History Month,” said Dave Louis, associate professor educational psychology and leadership in the College of Education. “Indeed, it is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African peoples within the U.S. while highlighting the numerous ways in which African Americans continue to significantly contribute to our way of life.

“But it also is a period to reflect on the arduous journey of African people, the difficult history of the nation, the continuous need for restorative justice and determination of a people who oftentimes are marginalized. Black History Month is a necessary recognition and honest reflection of all of us as Americans.”

To see a full list of the events organized in honor of Black History Month, click here.