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4 little-known black nurses who broke barriers and need to be celebrated

March 13, 2019 at 08:09 am | Women

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

March 13, 2019 at 08:09 am | Women

Susie King Taylor

Nursing as a profession was one of the first jobs that appealed to women around the world once they were given the rights to education and to work rather than being housewives.

Several women were encouraged to go into the nursing profession which they believed came easily to them due to the their caring and nurturing nature.

Black women who found themselves in lands where slavery was prominent faced more challenges with being able to access education or work.

By the 16th century, black women were not only kept on the plantation but also forced to be domestic workers in their masters’ homes. Several enslaved women were assigned to wives of plantation owners to help them with domestic work and raise their children while the white women attended to things they found more significant.

After a while, female slaves were made to take the place of low-class women who were paid to breastfeed babies, a practice known as wet nursing. The practice became very popular in Europe in the 17th century and found its way into America.

Even after the abolition of slavery, black women still faced challenges finding their way into the professional scene especially in nursing where there was much demand.

Here are 4 black women who despite the many challenges became nurses and paved the way for several nurses all over the world today:

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