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armChicago Defender, January 3, 1938. Leave it to the South to keep these old traditions alive. I wonder if the lawman’s curiosity was exhausted once the racial identification of the part came to a dead end. Chances are it was in fact a “sable arm,” as black people were vastly overrepresented on med school dissecting tables. The golden age of medical grave robbing is over by this time (1938), but back in the day there were actually organized rings that looted Southern black graveyards and shipped cadavers all over the country. Basically any poor population was vulnerable to the medical ghouls. Grave-robbing scandals were typically triggered by the discovery that ‘respectable’ white person had been “resurrected.”

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