Course Unit | Session 5: Upbuilding the Black health professions

Session 5: Upbuilding the Black health professions


This session will focus on regional and national efforts to upbuild the Black health professions through improving Black hospitals and Black schools of nursing, strengthening Black medical and dental schools, and creating professionals organizations to represent Black health professionals.

Required Readings:

Clifton O. Dummett. “A review of the history of the National Dental Association.” In: The Growth and Development of the Negro in Dentistry in the United States, pp. 15-31.

Darlene Clark Hine. Chapter 5, “Racism, status, and the professionalization of Black nursing.” In: Black Women in White, pp. 89-107.

V.N. Gamble. Chapter 2, “At the vanguard: the National Medical Association and National Hospital Association.”In: Making a Place for Ourselves, pp. 36-69.


Mabel K. Staupers. Chapter 3, “The decisive years.” In: No Time for Prejudice, 29-67.

Adah Thoms. “History of the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.” In: Pathfinders: a History of Progress of Colored Graduate Nurses (New York: Kay Printing House, Inc., 1929), pp. 201-226

Thomas J. Ward, Jr. Chapter 2, “Aid and integration,” pp. 31-53; Chapter 7, “Professional associations,” pp. 191-212. In: Black Physicians in the Jim Crow South


  1. Who founded professional organizations that represented Black nurses?
  2. Who founded professional organizations that represented Black doctors, that represented Black dentists?
  3. Was there a professional organization to represent Black health professionals who worked in public health?
  4. Why were these professional organizations established? What did they provide Black health professionals? How did they work to reduce health disparities?
  5. Were white health professionals involved in these organizations? If so, when? Did these Black professional organizations collaborate or represent more than one health professional discipline?
  6. What steps were taken to strengthen medical schools for Black students? By whom?
  7. What steps were taken to strengthen nursing schools for Black students and by whom?
  8. What was the national hospital movement? What major foundations were involved in the upgrading of Black hospitals, regionally, nationally?