Human Betterment League

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The Human Betterment League was created in 1947 on the initiative of hosiery king James G. Hanes. He was joined by members of the Winston-Salem elite, such as Clarence Gamble of Procter & Gamble, Alice Shelton Gray,[1] Dr. C. Nash Herndon, a leader in the medical-genetics department at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine and Dr. A.M. Jordan, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Human Betterment League has been criticized historically for its role in the sterilization of men, women and children, White, Black and Indian, who were deemed inferior by society's elite Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The original focus of the organization was the promotion of eugenic sterilization and the education of the public about the causes and prevention of mental illnesses and handicaps. By the early 1970s the Human Betterment League had shifted its focus to promoting education on birth control and genetic counseling. In 1984 it changed its name to the Human Genetics League, and it disbanded in 1988.


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