The film explores the North Carolina eugenics program through the eyes of those who experienced it. Featured in the film are Elaine, Ann, and Willis, three out of approximately 8000 victims of forced sterilizations sanctioned by the Eugenics Board of North Carolina. Falsely accused of feeble-mindedness, promiscuity, and being a burden on society, they were sterilized without their knowledge. All three of them were under the age of 14.
For years now they have been fighting for justice and reparations for the wrong that was done to them. Behind them stands a journalist and an advocate for their rights, John Railey, who has helped spread the word about this atrocity through his columns and consistent campaigning for
Wicked Silence explores the North Carolina eugenics program through the eyes of those who experienced it. We hear their painful
stories, but we also see their strength and resilience in the face of incredible loss. A story of suffering, it is also a story of healing, and most importantly, a story of hope.
The film is available at the Z Smith Reynolds Library, as well as on Youtube at:
Laura Scott, WFU Bioethics Graduate Student – Prepared in conjunction with the Center for Bioethics, Health & Society and the Documentary Film Program, Wake Forest University, the following two Guides.
Instructors’ Guide – Provides additional resources, questions and discussion points for those teaching about eugenic sterilization and the ethical and policy issues it raises