Duke Today

By Lucas Hubbard

July 21, 2020

“The United Nations’ official definition of genocide includes ‘imposing measures to prevent births within a (national, ethnically, racial or religious) group,’ ” says co-author William A. Darity Jr., a professor of public policy, African and African American Studies and economics at Duke University. “North Carolina’s disproportionate use of eugenic sterilization on its Black citizens was an act of genocide.”

The article appears online in the American Review of Political Economy. Darity was one of its three co-authors, collaborating with Gregory N. Price, the paper’s lead author and an economics professor at the University of New Orleans, and Rhonda V. Sharpe, the founder and president of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity, and Race.

In a 2010 paper, Price and Darity demonstrated that eugenic sterilizations in North Carolina disproportionately targeted Blacks. This article advances that prior analysis, shedding light on the mechanics by which the program worked, and the motives behind it.

“Controlling Black bodies and their reproductive choices is nothing new,” says co-author Sharpe. “Our study shows that North Carolina restricted reproductive freedom, using eugenics to disenfranchise Black residents.”

Click here to download a PDF of the full research report.

CITATION: “Did North Carolina Economically Breed-Out Blacks During its Historical Eugenic Sterilization Campaign?” Price, Gregory N., William A. Darity, Jr., & Rhonda V. Sharpe. American Review of Political Economy 15 (1), (2020).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.38024/arpe.pds.6.28.20