The Haunted Files

Performance and Gallery Exhibit

 

WRITTEN BY

JUDY TATE & MICHAEL SLADE

Directed by 

Melissa Maxwell

 

PERFORMED BY

ANTU YACOB AND STINA NIELSEN

 

Sourced from records in the Eugenics Records Office exhibit which Noa Fuller and Jack Tchen co-curated under the title “The Haunted Files”;

Judy Tate, co-founder of The American Slavery Project.

*The Haunted Files returns (2021) in a special premiere with a live talkback as part of The Reverberation Plays.

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In 1904, a young black infant named Hazel is left on a doorstep. She is taken in by a family from whom she later runs away. Thus begins an odyssey of arrests, institutionalization, and medical intervention — all in an effort to cure her of “immorality.”

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WHAT IS EUGENICS?

 

Eugenics was the pseudo-science that served as the intellectual underpinning to the segregationist Jim Crow Laws as well 

as the "progressive" thinking of leaders who crafted a vision of mass sterilization, mental institutionalization, and immigration restriction. Aided by the young field workers who gathered mountains of data in service of “social progress”, the targeted persons lives could be forever altered by the eugenic project of “better breeding.”

ASP Collaborated with 
The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU
to bring to life some of the people hidden in 
the original files belonging to
The Eugenics Record Office
in Cold Spring Harbor, NY