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Pam Fessler with Carville’s Cure: Leprosy, Stigma, and the Fight for Justice
September 10, 2020 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDTCost: Free
American Ancestors/NEHGS together with the Boston Public Library and the State Library of Massachusetts present another virtual event in the American Stories, Inspiration Today author series.
Acclaimed broadcast journalist Pam Fessler writes about the largely forgotten history of leprosy in the United States– its impact on patients and their families, doctors, and, particularly, the swampy bayou town of Carville, Louisiana, where a “leprosarium” was established in 1894.
Carville evolved into a nexus for research and “treatment” that came at a huge personal cost to liberty as patients were stripped of their names, their rights, and their dignity. Understood today to be one of the least infectious diseases in the world, leprosy, now called Hansen’s disease, instilled a pandemic-sized level of fear and reaction from public health authorities well into the 20th century. Fessler will discuss her chronicle of how America treated, contained, and demonized its sufferers before wiser heads prevailed.