Reparations for North Carolina Sterilization Victims

Reparations for North Carolina Sterilization Victims

Victims who were sterilized in North Carolina between 1929 and 1974 – approximately 7,600 people – have until the end of June to file a claim with the state, according to government officials.

This month marks the final push to identify victims and their families, who will receive reparations in June 2015 from a $10 million fund. North Carolina is not the first state to publicly acknowledge this practice, but it will be the first state to offer compensation for it.

Currently, the state estimates that close to 3,000 victims, born in or before 1961, may still be alive.

“We honestly don’t know how many [Black Americans] were victims, we’re still subpoenaing records, talking to people, and sharing with others as the data comes in,” says Hilary O. Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau director and senior vice president for Advocacy and Policy. “But, we’re very clear that for the victims, and families of the victims, justice needs to be served.”

North Carolina’s state legislature established the North Carolina Eugenics Board in 1933 to oversee sterilizations of inmates and mental patients at public institutions. It was the only state to allow social workers to petition the board to have their clients sterilized. Additionally, more than 70 percent of North Carolina’s sterilizations occurred after 1945, unlike most programs, which distanced themselves from eugenics after World War II.

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Source: Black Press USA | Jazelle Hunt

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