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Until the Well Runs Dry [videorecording]: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies

a Burn Baby Burn production ; a Portmortem Film production in association with the Struggle for Black Liberation presents a Truth Be Told film; produced by VCU Department of African-American Studies
Video; DVD
"The practice of disinterring cadavers (grave robbing or bodysnatching) for purposes of medical dissection was widespread in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Those individuals whose job was to secure bodies for the dissecting labs of medical colleges were known as Resurrectionist. Richmond, Virginia during the 1800's was a bustling market for the domestic trade in enslaved Africans, and as a consequence had become a literal black market in Black bodies, both living and dead. African American cemeteries were especially vulnerable to the nighttime activities of the Resurrectionist and produced most of the anatomical material for the Medical College of Virginia. The legacy of grave-robbing is so indelibly etched into the psyches of African Americans that today many long-time Richmond (VA) residents still recount stories from their childhood of warnings to stay clear of the Medical College of Virginia late at night for fear that they might be snatched away to the dissecting room never to be seen or heard from again. This documentary chronicles the history of this nefarious practice and its relationship to contemporary attitudes of African Americans towards medicine."--Container.
Truth Be Told; Shawn O. Utsey
Narrator, Iman Shabazz.
Release Date
Run Time
51 min.
Variant Title
Medicine and the exploitation of black bodies
  • Start
  • Bones in the well
  • Chris Baker : resurrection man
  • History of medical dissection
  • Body snatching
  • Black market and Black bodies
  • Medical colleges - the demand for Black bodies
  • Post-mortem terrorism
  • The legacy of Chris Baker and distrust of modern medicine
  • Conclusion.
Writer, director Shawn O. Utsey ; editor, Todd Raviotta ; voice characterization J'ron Fleming ; narration, voice characterizations writer, Ana Edwards.
[Encinitas, Calif.] : Burn Baby Burn Production, 2011.
1 videodisc (51 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View


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