The Lynchburg Story: Eugenic Sterilization In America

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55 minutes
Source: Filmakers Library

This haunting film tells the story of what happened at The Lynchburg Colony for the Epileptic and Feebleminded in Virginia. There, between 1927 and 1972, over 8,000 children and young teenagers were forcibly sterilized. The state claimed they had hereditary defects that would be passed on to their potential offspring; in fact, most were simply poor, ill-educated, and considered a financial burden on the state. Interviews with sterilization victims today indicate a devastating impact on their lives and a profound loss of self worth.

Related lessons:
Eugenics and Civic Biology: An Exploration of Buck vs. Bell
From Theory to Classroom: Eugenics and Education

Related online module:
Race and Membership: The Eugenics Movement