Sunday, October 9, 2011
Review of "Miss Evers' Boys"
The play “Miss Evers’ Boys” is set in 1932 Macon County, Alabama, where the federal government launched a medical study known commonly as The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Blacks with Syphilis. The study selected 412 men infected with the disease and controversially faked long term treatment, while instead only giving them placebos. Nurse Eunice Evers narrates the story of four sharecroppers, Caleb Humphries, Ben Washington, Willie Johnson, and Hodman Bryan, detailing her experience as a knowledgeable role-player in the study as well as a loyal caretaker to the men. At the time, the study was justified by its efforts to determine if blacks were similarly impacted by the overall effects of the disease in the same way that whites were. The experiment was not stopped until 40 years later when a Senate investigation was initiated. The plays perspective gives personal accounts of the harsh consequences of the Tuskegee Study, revealing a side of our history which few take the time properly account for.