The Fultz Quadruplets: Born At The Wrong Time In America?

Ebony

The Fultz Quadruplets were the first identical Black quad babies born in the United States. The Fultz girls became baby celebrities, while Fred Klenner, the white doctor who delivered them into the world, exploited them for fame and money.

The Fultz Quads – Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice, and Mary Catherine – were born on May 3, 1946 at Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, N.C. The Quads’ parents, sharecropper Pete and deaf-mute mother Annie Mae, lived on a farm with their six other children but were too poor to care for the babies. Multiple births were rare at the time and the equipment to care for underweight babies wasn’t as prevalent as it is in modern times.

The girls were delivered in what was known as “the Basement,” according to a 2002 report by journalist and educator Lorraine Ahearn. This “basement” was the Blacks-only wing of Annie Penn, and Klenner and Black nurse Margaret Ware helped Annie Mae give birth. Since the Fultz family couldn’t read or write, Dr. Klenner  named the girls after his own family members.

When news of the quads began to spread nationwide, curious onlookers and media began sniffing around for photo opportunities. At the time, baby formula companies such as Gerber and PET wanted to use the quads as a means to start an ad campaign to sell their wares in the Black community. Black families didn’t buy formula during the late ’40’s, as many mothers opted to breast feed because of the high cost of baby formula.

Klenner struck a deal with PET for an undisclosed amount and the Fultz Quads were well on their way to becoming stars.  The quads’ starred in ads in Ebony Magazine, and they even made the cover of the publication. But all of this notoriety came with a price as Klenner used the girls for his “Vitamin C therapy” that he claimed made the girls healthy along with the PET evaporated milk formula.

While Klenner reaped the financial benefits, PET Milk company gave the Fultz quads a farm, a nurse, food, and medical care. Even more shocking, when Klenner returned the girls home, he displayed them in a glass-enclosed nursery. In a follow up story reported by Ebony, the then 22-year-old sisters were ultimately adopted by the nurse PET assigned to them and her husband. They struggled with adulthood. The farm they were given was on difficult land, and Pet paid the quads just $350 a month, leaving them virtually broke.

The girls became the third set of quadruplets in America to survive until adulthood. But according to Ahearn’s story, three of the sisters died of breast cancer before age 55, with Catherine Fultz Griffin believed to be the last surviving Fultz quadruplet.

Originally published by NlackAmricaweb.com

http://blackamericaweb.com/2015/06/10/little-known-black-history-fact-the-fultz-quadruplets/

Should Writers Respond to Comments on Their Articles?

 

 

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Original article by Yael Grauer, published by The Freelancer

When I first started writing, everyone always warned me to stay far, far away from the comments. Perhaps I’m narcissistic—or a glutton for punishment—but I found it nearly impossible to stop myself from checking in. When writing for MMA sites, I’d read through insult after insult written by teenagers living in their parents’ basement (our core audience), which was never a pleasant experience.

The free weekly paper that paid me pennies to blog about food after it fired its full-time food writer clearly didn’t have the staff to moderate comments. Whenever I’d give a restaurant a good review, I’d get to sift through weird conspiracy theories about how I was secretly coerced into saying nice things because of some kind of advertising deal that didn’t actually exist. I always felt slightly betrayed that these sites hung us writers out to dry by not moderating at all. I rarely responded, though I was tempted to create fake accounts to argue with readers about how I was right. I always wondered if the wrath of commenters would taint how editors viewed my work.

I was a ghostwriter for a couple of large health websites, always surprised at how the people I ghosted for reacted to the comments. They’d expect rewrites and revisions over minor nitpicks, even if the commenter was wrong.

Sites have wildly different opinions on whether journalists should engage with readers. Some sites don’t seem to pay attention, while others—such as MindHut and SparkLife—even go so far as rewarding writers who get a certain amount of upvotes when responding to comments.

Continuation link: http://contently.net/2015/07/30/stories/writers-respond-comments-articles/