Archives for mental illness

Local History: Addicts & Addiction Pt. 3

As earlier blog posts showed, public discourse about drugs and addiction changed from focusing on morality and personal responsibility during the 19th century to a focus on culture and racial identity during the early 20th century.  When drugs and addiction are discussed today, we often hear that criminal justice reform and electoral politics are the central issues influencing the course of addiction and the treatment of addicts in our society. The White Plains Collection has many resources you can use to discover what happened during the 1960s as the modern era of “drug culture” developed and what people were thinking
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Categories: History.

Local History: Addicts & Addiction Pt. 2

Most people are by now familiar with the “Reefer Madness” era of drug policy in the United States. Exemplified by the 1936 propaganda film of the same name and personified by Henry J. Anslinger (who set the tone for most domestic drug policy during his 32 years as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics), the “Reefer Madness” era is best known for its racism and over-the-top representations of drug users and addicts. The articles below show that “Reefer Madness” came to White Plains!   Reefer Madness According to the paper, over 100 people were questioned or arrested during raids
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Categories: History.

Local History: Addicts & Addiction Pt. 1

The past few years, drugs and addiction have been in the headlines. Stories about opiates, the legalization of marijuana, and criminal justice reform have all made drug use and addiction the subject of a national conversation. Just as the civil rights and women’s rights movements had historical roots in time periods when those issues were not the focus of public debate, American society has been dealing with addicts and addiction since the 18th century. Here’s a look at some resources in the White Plains Collection that you can consult to see how people used to think about these issues. You
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Categories: History.

Local History: Rosa Kittrell

October 10 has been designated World Mental Health Day by the World Health Organization. In honor of it, here is a story about a White Plains resident whose activism on behalf of people with mental illness had a national impact. Rosa Kittrell worked hard to redefine the way we view and treat the most vulnerable members of society. Through her tireless activism, personal struggles with mental illness, and belief in the power of education, Kittrell developed a motto: “Others, Lord, others.” Like so many black women in America, Kittrell was intersectional in her activism before anyone ever heard of that
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Categories: History.