Eugenics victims will receive compensation for pain and sufferin - | WBTV Charlotte

Eugenics victims will receive compensation for pain and suffering


A Charlotte woman, sterilized by doctors as part of a state program in 1971, will receive compensation from the state for pain and suffering. 

The North Carolina Eugenics program began in 1929 and ended in 1971. Records show around 7,600 young men and women were sterilized; many had no say in the matter. The majority of the sterilized teens were diagnosed with cognitive disabilities.

"I could have had some kids on my own, but that didn't work out," said Charlotte resident Janice Black. The 62-year-old says doctors sterilized her in 1971.

"It was like something was taken from me," Black said.

WBTV first interviewed Black two years ago, after word came down that the state of North Carolina would not compensate her for the years of physical and emotional scarring.

"They don't even care. They got all this money and they don't even care," she said in June 2012.

In a surprise turn of events, last week on her birthday, Black got a letter in the mail.

"When I read the letter myself, I called her (Black) in the hallway and I read it to her and I praised God and gave him the glory for what we have seen," said Black's caregiver and friend, Sadie Long.

The North Carolina Industrial Commission sent the letter, telling Black to expect a check in the tens of thousands of dollars within the coming months.

Black says until the check arrives, her focus is work. She cleans machines at Carolinas Medical Center near Uptown Charlotte. It's the same hospital where doctors sterilized her four decades ago. 

"The money is fine but like I said, it's not going to bring back what's already been taken from me," she said.

Last year, Governor Pat McCrory signed a budget which included $10 million for Eugenics victims. The money will be divided among survivors who applied for compensation. Black doesn't know the exact amount, though she's been told the minimum is $50,000.

The Local NAACP is holding a workshop for victims on Thursday, June 5th to get help filling out the necessary paperwork in order to receive payment. 

Experts will be on hand from 11 am until 2 pm at Little Rock AME Zion Church.

For more information and get a claim form call the Office of Justice at 1-877-550-6013 or

You can also call the Center for Civil Rights at 919-445-0176.

The deadline to file is June 30.

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