Segments in this Video

U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Health (10:14)


In March 1973, Eunice Evers testifies about her participation in the study; she believed the program would help patients. Evers worked with Dr. Brodus in the 1930s, when syphilis plagued Americans, specifically black citizens. (Credits)

Tuskegee Study (09:05)

Evers recruits farmhands from rural black communities for testing and treatment of “bad blood.” She offers an entertainment group a free hot lunch and other perks to enter the government program. Caleb Humphries initially refuses.

Syphilis Testing (05:14)

Evers succeeds in convincing farmhands and their supervisors of medical benefits of “bad blood” treatments. At the Tuskegee Hospital, experts conduct blood tests. Dr. Douglas informs patients they are checking for syphilis; Humphries requests a book about the disease.

Evers' Personal Interest in Patients (06:53)

Evers drives the entertainment group to the Victrola Gille Competition; they name themselves, “Miss Evers Boys.” Evers tells Humphries he and the others have syphilis; he agrees to treatment and not informing the others they tested positive.

Syphilis Treatments (08:18)

Tuskegee Study patients rub mercury into each other’s backs. Humphries and Evers go on a date. He reveals that his brother was a lynching victim, prompting him to drop out of school to help his family.

Untreated Syphilis (10:12)

Douglas informs Brodus that the Tuskegee Program will be canceled due to funding. Miss Evers is laid off, taking a job as a domestic worker. The doctors go to Washington DC and receive funding for an observation study not including treatment; they hope the arrangement is temporary.

Questioning the Study (09:57)

The Tuskegee Hospital rehires Evers and Brodus explains that they will not be treating patients. She doubts the new program and considers a job elsewhere.

Tuskegee Study Loses Subjects (08:36)

Tuskegee Hospital doctors trick patients into being studied without treatment, conducting spinal taps. When a subject dies, Miss Evers suggests paying others to return to the program. Her secret regarding the study prevents her from getting close to Humphries.

Denying a Proven Remedy (11:26)

Evers believed Tuskegee Study patients would receive syphilis treatment. In 1942, scientists discovered penicillin could cure the disease, but the program subjects did not receive the drug. Evers was told patients could have bad reactions and deaths were necessary for the study’s completion.

Tuskegee Study Subjects Worsen (08:11)

Doctors deny subjects penicillin; syphilis symptoms manifest, killing the first of the Evers’ Boys. The Army sends Humphries overseas.

Evers Stays the Course (12:10)

Evers steals penicillin to give to a study subject suffering from madness. He drinks turpentine and dies, requiring examination. Brodus admonishes Evers for theft and drug administration.

Comforting Tuskegee Patients (07:48)

Humphries returns from overseas, wanting to marry Evers and move to Chicago; she denies his offer. Evers believes it is her duty to stay with the study subjects.

Evers' Testimony (04:55)

Evers kept track of the number of fatalities in the Tuskegee Study. At the United States Senate Subcommittee on Health hearing, she states that the government is to blame for the experiment. The committee declares the study intolerable but does not punish anyone involved.

Credits: Miss Evers' Boys (01:43)

Credits: Miss Evers' Boys

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Miss Evers' Boys

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In 1932, the U.S. government began a medical program to treat black men for syphilis in the South's only black hospital. Funding was cut off soon thereafter, but money was made available to study the effects of untreated syphilis in black men to determine if blacks and whites were similarly affected by the disease. The program was in place until 1972 when it was exposed to the public. The "study" was administered by Dr. Brodus, a black man, and Nurse Evers, a black woman who cared for these men. How could they allow it? And how could it go on for 40 years? Miss Evers' Boys, a powerful docudrama, examines one of modern America's most shameful episodes. Nominated for 12 and Winner of 5 Primetime Emmy Awards. Golden Globe® Winner. Silver Spire Award, San Francisco International Film Festival. Screen Actors Guild Award-winner. Directed by Joseph Sargent. United States.

Length: 118 minutes

Item#: BVL206254

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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