Original Repository: Howard University. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. Charles R. Drew Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
"My Chief Interest Was and Is Surgery"--Howard University, 1941-1950
Letter from Jacob Billikopf to Charles R. Drew (April 1, 1944)
Dear Mr. Billikopf:
Many thanks for your kind letter of April 1 in reference to the Spingarn Medal.
I have read with interest the report of the Sub-Committee to study the Red Cross situation which you were good enough to enclose
in your letter. I am thoroughly in accord with your committee's approach to this problem. I think that the Army made a
grievous mistake, a stupid error in first issuing an order to the effect that blood for the Army should not be received from
Negroes. It was a bad mistake for three reasons: (1) No official department of the Federal Government should willfully humiliate
its citizens; (2) There is no scientific basis for the order; (3) They need the blood. I would be heartily in favor of pressure
of all types being brought on the Surgeon General of the U.S. Army to force him to rescind the instructions to the American
Red Cross which demands the separation of the bloods of the donors. Such an order, I believe, would have a greater salutory
effect upon the morals of Negroes than any other act which could be done at this time. I have had occasion to say this before
both official and unofficial in Army circles and outside of it, but to date, with no avail.
I am returning the copy of the letter which you so generously sent.