Past Meetup

Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine & Exploitation of Black Bodies + post-film Q&A

This Meetup is past

31 people went


Join BloomBars and TransAfrica for an astonishing film...

Until the Well Runs Dry: Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies (2011, 51 min), by Shawn Utsey, PhD – chronicles the involvement of well known medical colleges in the practice of illegal grave robbing of Black cemeteries during the 19th century.

When: November 15,[masked]:00 PM
Donation: Suggested: $10. Free popcorn
Q&A Discussion: Filmmaker and Chair of African-American studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Shawn Utsey will join our post-film discussion
In the 1800’s, many medical colleges in the United States engaged in and encouraged the practice of grave-robbing Black cemeteries for purposes of medical dissection. Many in academia regarded blacks as inferior and therefore expendable in the interest of medical study. Much of the film centers on the life of Chris Baker – a black laboratory assistant who worked for the Medical College of Virginia (now Virginia Commonwealth University). Baker, known euphemistically as an “anatomical man,” robbed graves and supplied African American bodies to Virginia medical colleges for decades. Dr. Utsey makes the case that much of the historical mistrust of African-Americans towards the medical profession is due to these practices and other infamous incidents, such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. [*above - Chris Baker (left) with anatomy students at MCV © 1899].

The Venue: (
PARKING: Street parking on 11th St, and on the adjacent streets – but don't park in Residential-Only areas. Parking garage available @ 14th St beneath the Target, and there's METRO: Columbia Heights - on 14th St, 3 blocks away.


  • Arlan B.

    Unfortunately I didn't get off work until 15 min ago and am in traffic. So I am not going to make it. Enjoy and I will see everyone next time

    4 years ago
  • Dunori V. P.

    So it looks like everyone who made it really enjoyed the film? I see it was rated 5 stars.

    4 years ago
  • Natalie

    This was my first time attending an event and I was glad I picked this one. The film was very educational not only from what I learned by watching it but also from listening to the conversation afterwards. I walked away feeling enlightended and more empowered because my eyes were opened to something I'd never thought about but realize how important it was to know about.

    Thank you for the opportunity. I look forward to attending more events.

    4 years ago