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Madness PDF by Antonia Hylton Book Summary

 On a frigid March day in 1911, officials led twelve Black men into the midst of a woodland in Maryland. Under the supervision of a doctor, the men were forced to clear the field, pour cement, lay bricks, and harvest tobacco. When construction was completed, they became the first twelve patients at the state’s Hospital for the Negro Insane. For generations, Black patients have been absent from our historical records. Madness takes readers beneath the brick walls of a Jim Crow asylum.

In Madness, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist Antonia Hylton recounts the 93-year history of Crownsville Hospital, one of the last segregated asylums with surviving records and a campus that still stands today in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She weaves intimate stories of patients and personnel whose lives were changed by Crownsville into a decade of investigative study and archive materials.

Madness tells the experiences of Black families whose mental health deteriorated as they sought, and occasionally failed, to find safety and dignity. Hylton also confronts her own family’s experiences with mental illness, as well as the secrecy and shame that has perpetuated over generations. Crownsville Hospital expanded from an antebellum-style work camp to a tiny city on 1,500 acres, serving as a microcosm of America’s evolving fights over slavery, racial integration, and civil rights.

During its peak years, the hospital’s wards were packed with about 2,700 patients. By the close of the twentieth century, the asylum had disappeared from view, with prisons and jails becoming America’s new emphasis. In Madness, Hylton traces the heritage of slavery to how Black people’s bodies and minds are treated in today’s mental healthcare system. It is an engrossing and painful essay on how America determines who is sick or criminal, who is deserving of our care or who is beyond redemption.

Madness PDF by Antonia Hylton Details

Book NameMadness PDF
Book AuthorAntonia Hylton
Book LanguageEnglish
Release DateJanuary 23, 2024
Download TypePDF & Audiobook

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