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"Bad Girls," Eugenics And Samarcand Manor

Photo from "Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory"
Records of Samarcand Manor, Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice, Department of Public Safety, Samarcand Manor School, Eagle Springs, North Carolina
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Girls did all the work at Samarcand Manor, including laundry, cooking, and work on the farm. These girls, dressed comfortably in overalls, are pitching hay circa 1922.

More than 2,000 women and girls were forcibly sterilized in the first two decades of North Carolina's state eugenics program from 1929-1950.

While many governmental institutions and scientists propelled the movement forward, the new book "Bad Girls at Samarcand: Sexuality and Sterilization in a Southern Juvenile Reformatory" (LSUP/2016) traces the story of one reformatory's unexpected role in the process.

The State Home and Industrial School in Eagle Springs, N.C. was initially created to house poor white girls suspected of 'deviant behavior.' In 1931, an arson case brought it into the national spotlight, and it eventually became a site of frequent forced sterilizations for girls as young as 10 years old.

Host Frank Stasio talks with historian Karin L. Zipf, history professor at East Carolina University, about her research into the "bad girls" at the center of this story.

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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