The city’s vaccine rollout has been unequal, not reaching the most vulnerable areas. And some at the church were wary because of a history of mistreatment by the medical system.
“Most of us have read about the Tuskegee Experiment,” Holly Low, 68, told me, a reference to an unethical government study that allowed syphilis to spread untreated among Black men in Alabama.
“We know what the history is, and we are not fools,” said Dr. Butts. “But we also know what the present is, and we are not fools.”