April 27, 2011

Am I Not Human? Hole in the Head, A Life Revealed

Sometimes you think that you've lived long enough that nothing can surprise you. It seems that every plot in a movie has been told ... and every element of racism in America has been revealed.

Then you learn about Vertus Hardiman. Vertus Hardiman hid a shocking secret under a wig & beanie for over 80 years. He was experimented on at a county hospital in Indiana during 1927. Vertus was one of ten children, all experimented on with radiation back in the day.

I knew about the Tuskegee experiments on syphilis with unsuspecting Black men. I didn't know about the experiments on radiation with Black children until I saw the following video clip.   WARNING:  The clip starts off in a benign manner ... but, it takes a graphic turn towards the middle.

This feature length documentary tells the story of Vertus Hardiman and nine other young children, attending the same elementary school in Lyles Station Indiana who, in 1927 were severely irradiated during a medical experiment conducted at the local county hospital. The experiment was misrepresented as a newly developed cure for the scalp fungus known as ringworm. In reality the ringworm fungus was merely the lure used to gain access to innocent children whose unsuspecting parents blindly signed permission slips for the treatment.

Vertus was five years old and the youngest. Now after 20 years of friendship with writer/producer Wilbert Smith, through their church choir, Vertus unburdens himself to Wilbert with an incredible story, finally exposing the severe physical complication caused by this shocking medical crime. This crime had severe physical complications for Vertus – namely a harshly irradiated and malformed head, with an actual hole in his skull.

You can learn more about this film and this story here Just the idea of this happening in America turns my stomach.   However, it also reinforces the idea that we have to tell OURstory ... and never be limited or misled by HIS-story!

Roots of Humanity feels that each of us can fight against human rights abuses in the world. We simply need to do something. Protest. Meditate. Pray. In the case of bloggers ... we want you to blog on the 27th of each month. Just share information on behalf of our human siblings in all suffering areas who are either barred from communication by their governments, or lacking in technology to ask: Am I Not Human?

1 comment:

Dee-Vona said...

Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. Check out Harriet Washington's Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. It is downright shocking at times, but then again not all that surprising.