Hidden Histories: Racial Injustice at St. Elizabeths Mental Hospital

A decade before the end of slavery, Washington D.C.’s St. Elizabeths Hospital began treating Black patients for mental illnesses. As the nation’s first integrated, federally funded mental health facility, the concept was groundbreaking, but as history shows us, inclusion did not mean equality. In this episode, we’ll talk with Dr. Martin Summers, author of Madness in the City of Magnificent Intentions. We’ll discuss how ideas of false racial differences shaped the inequitable care of the hospital’s Black patients and learn how those ideas evolved over time.