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The Voice of the Black Community

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Exhibit on Charlotte medical pioneers
Black doctors subject of exhibit at Levine
 
Published Sunday, February 2, 2014 4:02 pm
by Herbert L. White

Charlotte’s pioneering black doctors is the subject of an exhibit.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Heritage Committee and Charlotte Medical, Dental and Pharmaceutical Society are sponsoring “No Roadmap: The Integration of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Medical Community 1951-1965. The presentation includes oral histories and archival footage of doctors. The exhibit debuts Feb. 9 at Levine Museum of the New South with a panel discussion on doctors at Carolinas Medical Center followed by a question and answer session.

“The vision is to create a traveling exhibit that documents Charlotte’s unprecedented journey from separate but unequal to care for all,” said Maxine Eaves, a longtime community activist who launched the project.

The exhibit culls excerpts from Dr. Emory Rann’s “The Black Physician In Charlotte, North Carolina,” which focuses on the struggle of African Americans to treat black Charlotte from Reconstruction and establishment of Good Samaritan Hospital to desegregating the staff of Charlotte Memorial (now Carolinas Medical Center), Presbyterian (now Novant Presbyterian) and Mercy hospitals. The book highlights the history of their professional growth while challenging segregated medical organizations and facilities that prohibited black doctors and patients. Stalwarts from J.T. Williams to Reginald Hawkins, a dentist and civil rights activist who twice ran for governor, are highlighted.

“The goal of this project is to share our history, a noteworthy and valued history that needs to be shared and recorded for all,” Eaves said. 

The exhibit culls recollections and archives of physicians Kenneth Chambers and Lester Wallace, who are honorary co-chairs of the James B. Duke Library at Johnson C. Smith University as well as UNC Charlotte’s J. Murray Adkins Library and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Medical Society, among others. After its debut at Levine Museum of the New South, the exhibit will be shown at local colleges, including JCSU, UNCC and Livingstone College.

For information on the exhibit, call Kelly Eaves-Boykin at (704) 287-7653.

 

 

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