PBS 45 & 49 links

Featured in the program is 100-year-old Naomi Evans, the daughter of a slave and now a retired school nurse. She shares her inspirational story in Healing Others, Healing Ourselves.

Local production tells the story of the African American nurse

Thursday, Feb. 5 at 10 pm

Healing Others, Healing Ourselves: The History of the African American Nurse, a documentary produced by Dr. James Banks at Cuyahoga Community College, offers a compelling story of struggle, hope and achievement. With a strong northeast Ohio focus, the film combines archival footage with interviews spanning generations of black nurses ranging in age from 18 to 100.

National scholars and historians provide insight into the African American nurse's struggle for legitimacy. Among the voices that tell this story are Dr. Darlene Clark Hine, the John C. Hannah Distinguished Professor of History at Michigan State University, and Brigadier General Hazel Johnson-Brown (ret.), who headed the Army Nurse Corps from 1979 to 1983, becoming the first female African American to attain the rank of General.

Also featured in the program is 100-year-old Naomi Evans, the daughter of a slave and now a retired school nurse, who shares her inspirational story of graduating from Freedman's Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 1930. Evans was likely the first African American public school nurse in Ohio.

Healing Others, Healing Ourselves also shares the views of several young African American nurses who are just now beginning their professions, among them Davida Smith, a graduate of The University of Akron School of Nursing, and Dr. Valerie Brown, a faculty member at Tri-C.

Others interviewed in the documentary are Dr. M. Elizabeth Carnegie, pioneer nurse educator and author of The Path We Tread; Col. Margaret Bailey (ret.), a WWII nurse who was the first female African American to obtain the rank of colonel; and Dr. May Wykle, Dean of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University and the first African American to graduate from that school of nursing.

Producer James Banks is professor emeritus at Tri-C and the founder and director of the Crile Archives.

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