Image

3:57 AM / Friday December 9, 2022

14 Oct 2022

Philadelphia apologizes for experiments on Black inmates

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
October 14, 2022 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Attorney Michael Coard speaks to concerned families, citizens and the press at the prison site on  October 7.  ( Photo/ Kwame Bradley courtesy of the SCOOP)

ASSOCIATED PRESS 

PHILADELPHIA — The city of Philadelphia issued an apology Thursday for the unethical medical experiments performed on mostly Black inmates at its Holmesburg Prison from the 1950s through the 1970s.

The move comes after community activists and families of some of those inmates raised the need for a formal apology. It also follows a string of apologies from various U.S. cities over historically racist policies or wrongdoing in the wake of the nationwide racial reckoning after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

The city allowed University of Pennsylvania researcher Dr. Albert Kligman to conduct the dermatological, biochemical and pharmaceutical experiments that intentionally exposed about 300 inmates to viruses, fungus, asbestos and chemical agents including dioxin — a component of Agent Orange. The vast majority of Kligman’s experiments were performed on Black men, many of whom were awaiting trial and trying to save money for bail, and many of whom were illiterate, the city said.

Kligman, who would go on to pioneer the acne and wrinkle treatment Retin-A, died in 2010. Many of the former inmates would have lifelong scars and health issues from the experiments. A group of the inmates filed a lawsuit against the university and Kligman in 2000 that was ultimately thrown out because of a statute of limitations.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in the apology that the experiments exploited a vulnerable population and the impact of that medical racism has extended for generations.

“Without excuse, we formally and officially extend a sincere apology to those who were subjected to this inhumane and horrific abuse. We are also sorry it took far too long to hear these words,” Kenney wrote.

Last year, the University of Pennsylvania issued a formal apology and took Kligman’s name off some honorifics like an annual lecture series and professorship. The university also directed research funds to fellows focused on dermatological issues in people of color.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Politics

Jeffries wins historic bid to lead House Dems after Pelosi

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in...

Go With The-Flo

Trevor Noah hosted a “Black Theater Night” for the Tony-winning Best Musical “A Strange Loop”

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Trevor Noah (Shutterstock.com) By Flo Anthony On Nov. 29, Trevor Noah,...

Food And Beverage

What’s Cookin’? Vegan Oatmeal Butternut Squash Risotto

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Tweet Share Pin Email Related Posts What’s Cookin’? Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and...

Seniors

Senior Fitness: You may have more choices than you think

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Do you struggle with starting or maintaining a fitness routine? Don’t worry,...

Health

Do you have the winter sniffles? Five ways you can manage indoor winter allergies

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Do you suffer from itchy eyes, a runny nose or a scratchy...

Color Of Money

Feeling the stress of high energy bills?  New programs help lower costs

December 2, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT  Soaring energy prices equate to rising energy bills for households nationwide. This...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff